One of Dawn’s favourite things about working for Applause is the variety of jobs there are to do. Her background in managing arts for over 20 years has been built up through a combination of artist and public facing programmes and projects. Working with the public has been a common thread through all of her experience to date including her rather lapsed practise as a visual artist. She likes practical things, making, walking, cooking as well as coming up with ideas to make the ordinary a little extraordinary.
Sally’s passionate about life and never happier when visiting a gallery, theatre or music venue. She’s extensive experience of working in the arts as a freelance producer and project manager and recent highlights in her career include commissioning and producing a community Opera ‘PUSH’ with Glyndebourne, bringing the Winter Giant to Battle Festival and producing Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival.
Having spent a few years managing the Outdoors programme at Applause she now leads on our artistic programming, working with some of the UKs most exciting artists and companies to create and curate shows for our rural promoters.
Her love of the arts is nearly matched by her love of food (eating not cooking), walking (especially the South Downs) and yoga (the gentle type). A perfect day is when she can combine them all.
Julie is our Marketing and Communications Officer. Prior to joining Applause, she worked for seven years at Komedia Brighton, an award-winning independent arts venue. As well as that role, Julie performed stand-up comedy for 10 years. This led to her gigging at many venues, some in remote locations, that wouldn’t fit the stereotypical idea of a theatre. Seeing the joy that performance can bring to an audience who may not usually have access to shows is one of the many reasons she is thrilled to be working at Applause.
Julie now enjoys being an audience member rather than a performer at a wide variety of shows. She is a keen runner, entering the Yorkshire Marathon in October 2021 after a 10-year marathon break.
Sam has been working with Applause since 2019. Sam’s previous role with Applause was as INN CROWD Project Manager following on from her corporate background in Project Management.
Her love for live shows in rural settings stems from witnessing, first-hand, the impact that the arts can have on communities when they are presented in comforting, accessible, local settings.
She has a strong passion for the interplay between arts and wellbeing and likes to spend her free time learning new skills, experiencing arts in her local area and cooking up a plant-based storm for her friends and family.
Sam is the Finance Manager at Applause. She is responsible for maintaining and managing all aspects of Applause’s day to day financial operations as well as supporting the Director and Trustees with reporting to funders and statutory reporting. Sam is a Chartered Accountant specialising in charity accounting and over the last 20 years has worked with a wide range of charities of all sizes from large national to small local charities. Her favourite thing about working with Applause is seeing the impact it makes on communities and artists and the wide range of work carried out by the brilliant Applause team. There’s never a dull moment!
Kat Portman-Smith has worked as a producer for theatre and event production for nearly 30 years. As associate producer with Seabright Productions she worked on productions including: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Hardeep Singh Kohli and Potted Potter and Potted Panto. As well as working on their Festival Highlights program for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 2005 to 2012. In 2012 Kat founded KPS Productions and was awarded a Society of London Theatre’s Stage One Bursary for emerging producers. Highlights have included producing multiple national tours, sold-out Edinburgh Festival and London productions of …And This is My Friend Mr Laurel, a New York run of Playing with Grown Ups, as well as a London production and UK/Ireland tour of a A Spoonful of Sherman in 2018.
Since 2015 she has been the Theatre Manager at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge, Kent.
I am a former local government senior manager specialising in wellbeing, leisure and culture. Currently a director of a small HR and Training company. I am passionate about enabling people to have the opportunity to access high quality cultural experiences and overcoming geographical, financial and social issues to achieve this.
Helen has a background is psychology and research and is based in rural East Sussex. She is firm believer in the importance of arts and culture to health and wellbeing and more specifically in local arts as a means of creating togetherness and belonging. Helen is currently most interested in how to reach the hard-to-reach and is putting together a PhD proposal looking at just that. Helen is also a Trustee of a rural community support charity and a keen gig rower.
Hannah is an arts manager and consultant, and a professional recording artist based in Bexhill-on-Sea. She is an advocate of rural touring and recognises the benefits of taking quality art forms into underserved communities. As well as releasing five studio albums and touring across Europe and America, she has produced multiple rural tours, concerts and festivals, including tours of tin tabernacles, village halls and by canal boat. She is also the General Manager of Hastings International Piano.
Dan is a marketing and communications specialist. He has worked with some of the best-known arts and culture organisations in the country including Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Donmar Warehouse, Roundhouse and Sadler’s Wells. He believes in the genius in all of us and in the power of the arts to transform communities, previously leading the communications for Fun Palaces, a lobbying organisation for cultural democracy. Outside of work, he is a keen (slow) marathon runner and has a cocker spaniel, Charlie.
Louise has a passion that art should be accessible for all. Before Covid she ran concerts for children, taking place in libraries, children centres, churches and preschools. She has also run pop up art community hubs in Tonbridge high street.
Lizzie is a marketing and communications professional with a huge passion for culture and creative industries.
From early beginnings writing stories as a child, working front of house in the theatre as a young adult and a freelance photographer, Lizzie set out on developing a career in television and film, most notably working on BBC shows including EastEnders and Silent Witness. Lizzie now has extensive marketing, advertising and communications experience working for household names and most recently The Mayor of London’s Culture Team. Lizzie has recently been awarded a WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications Leadership) Talent Award and hopes to use this to take the world by storm!
Lizzie has had many charitable ventures in her time, including running 7 marathons in 7 days raising £5k for Sport Relief and looks forward to contributing skills and advice to Applause. Lizzie loves to learn, writes stories and poetry and enjoys swimming when possible.
Liz is a business, research and communications professional with a career across charitable, cultural and professional services organisations. She spent three years as the company manager for Claque Theatre writing grant bids and helping produce large community plays in Sussex. Her favourite thing about Applause is how it takes original, high quality performances to unexpected places. Growing up in a rural community herself, she appreciates how arts and theatre can bring people and places alive. Liz enjoys performing and currently gigs with a covers band. She loves the great outdoors and can often be seen campervanning along the UK coastline with her family.
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