Open Source Arts exists to help you get your show on the road, learn new skills and link into the creative community in Leeds.
We have facilities, opportunities and experienced staff who want to make it easier for you to get on with creating your work and developing as an artist and maker. We enable people to make a positive impact on their wild places via environmental stewardship, empowering local communities to get active and become guardians.
Welcome to this supportive community of people who believe in working together to make the place we live in better for everybody.
Meet Our Team
Owner and Founder of Open Source Arts, with 15+ yr experience working in the events industry at all levels, from litter picker to production manager and event producer. He started Open Source Arts to enable creative people in Leeds to develop their skills, find collaborations and realise their ambitions. He is passionate about spreading the ethos of making your own rather than buying it in, a belief born out of a varied career as a fabricator, producer and consultant. Whatever your project, he is excited to talk to you about how to take your great idea and turn it into reality! Please get in touch!
Operations and Programmes
Myra joined the Open Source Arts team in autumn 2017, after 5 years working at Leeds University. Myra brings her organisational skills to Open Source Arts and we feel deeply grateful for her experience and calm presence, and strengthened by her support with projects great and small. She is passionate about strengthening resilient communities, facilitating collaboration, and empowering people. Myra works across all projects and activities at Open Source Arts, so if you would like to know more, get in touch with Myra!
Creative Practitioner, Teacher & Organiser
Izzy is an interdisciplinary artist working across dance and performance poetry, and has been with Open Source Arts since 2016. She coordinates dance open training alongside Sophie, runs weekly open dance classes and was instrumental in leading the development of our diverse programme of events. She is also a passionate and playful yoga teacher.
Communications and Marketing
Hannah started working with Open Source Arts in January 2018. Here at Open Source Arts, Hannah leads our marketing and communications. As part of her role, Hannah maintains and develops the communication with public, press and arts/educational institutions to ensure our in-house programme and out-of-house projects are a success. She is driven by pushing spaces and projects that celebrate creative learning, arts engagement and collaboration in the community. Alongside this role, Hannah is an arts producer for a Bradford participatory arts charity.
João started collaborating with Open Source Arts in 2017, bringing in his creativity and passion for the arts. As a dance artist, João has performed with companies like Rosie Kay Dance Company and Carlos Pons Guerra’s DeNada Dance Theatre; and he has taught nationally and internationally in both vocational and professional contexts. Following the completion of the MA in Dance and Creative Enterprise, João began work as a creative producer, with a focus on the local arts ecology. www.joaomaio-dance.com
Dance Practitioner & Yoga Teacher
Sophie has been with Open Source Arts since the very beginning, and since even before the 2015 floods, helping with the initial creation of the Open Source Arts vision before the radical change which the flooding brought. Sophie works with us on lots of different strands, but has at her heart a passion for movement practice and yoga. She now coordinates regular yoga sessions at Open Source Arts, as well as delivering the weekly professional dance training classes.
Jacob began working with Open Source Arts at the start of 2019, and runs events in the space. As a performance artist, both individually and as part of his collective HalliGalli, Jacob has a passion for making art as accessible and as engaging as possible. This is a key philosophy that underlines all of his work with Open Source Arts.
Handyman and Infrastructure Rigger
Jason began working with Open Source Arts at the end of 2018. He is an easy going (most of the time) fitness loving veggie with a penchant for houseplants. Jason is essential in erecting temporary structures for events, predominately marquees. He’s also a handy man to have around, with strong skills for fixing and tinkering, helping us in sprucing up the venue.
Environmental Engagement and Sustainability
Jess is leading on our menu of environmental, maker and recycling activities at Open Source Arts. She has a deep interest in environmental and sustainable topics, and has spent a significant portion of time in Peru working on these as well as in the UK.
Environmental Officer & Circus Programmer
Joe has been with Open Source Arts since October 2018 and has a real passion for helping clean up the green and blue spaces in Leeds. Having grown up in the Lake District these wild spaces are where he feels most at home. He has helped to grow a group of volunteers to assist with clean ups along the rivers and canals and help make these an inviting and welcoming place to visit. Alongside this Joe helps to develop the Open Source Arts Circus program, taking a lead on our Circus Open Training days on a Tuesday evening and leading Trapeze sessions as well as many other circus themed events and activities.
Events Programmer & Design
Abbie has been with Open Source Arts since the start of 2019. She’s working on multimedia events and activities, including workshops and celebratory events. She loves and is very good at bringing people together to have a great time! Abbie also brings her excellent graphic design skills to Open Source Arts. Alongside this she continues to develop her fabrication and maker skills, both at Open Source Arts and with another fabrication space in Leeds.
Steve is a writer, director and performer with three decades of experience in making and critiquing new work, both in theatres and in outdoor site contexts. Currently Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance at the University of Manchester, he is also the author of several books. Steve has worked with international artists as diverse as playwright Tim Crouch, performance artist Penny Arcade, drag pioneer Diane Torr, and ensemble companies Goat Island and Invisible Flock. He is especially pleased to be associated with Open Source Arts, given a shared passion for working with communities and local river environments.
Developing Artist in Residence
Rachel has been at Open Source Arts since 2018 and is now our developing artist in resident. She has a varied portfolio of working with costume and theatre, and has developed a strong practice in installation based design, predominately now working with recycled plastics, textiles and sculpture. She uses her ideas and knowledge of a range of materials to create immersive spaces for a variety of events, including music, science and communications.
Aerial and Circus Instructor / Yoga Teacher
Nat has been with Open Source Arts since September 2017. Having over 10 years’ experience in aerial arts and yoga, Nat leads, along with Joe Ferguson, our weekly circus training on a Tuesday evening. With a passion for all things upside down Nat runs aerial, yoga and handstand workshops at Open Source Arts and other venues across the region. A qualified Aerial instructor and Yoga teacher, she works with us on different stands to help build our growing circus and aerial projects.
After almost two decades working in admin and communications roles in Leeds’ third sector, Ben joined the Open Source Arts team in Summer 2019, providing administrative support across the organisation’s projects and services. He brings extensive IT experience and know-how, as well as copy writing and editing skills and experience of organising and promoting events. He values OSA’s emphasis on creativity and authenticity in all aspects of their work, and hopes to extend that to the administrative realm. He has no doubt that spreadsheets are a form of poetry, poetry is a form of prayer, and prayer is a form of revolution.
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