This wonderful team of staff make the work we do possible. Below are profiles of our key people.
Our full staff structure is also available to download company structure – hybrid arts
Director – Stella Carr
Profile: As founding Director of Hybrid Arts, Carr leads the company in cutting edge creative and cultural education that is an alternative to provision in mainstream institutions. She is driven by a passion for fostering creative practice and social capital, and contributing to the debate about what education should involve. Carr has taught in higher education including the York Foundation in Art and Design, Liverpool John Moore’s University in Fine Art and at Warwickshire College in Life Drawing. She has extensive arts development experience supporting Warwick District, Warwickshire County and Stratford District Councils as Arts Development Officer, and has contributed to arts policy-making through her role on Boards such as Art on the Move, the Serious Games Institute and Culture West Midlands.
Carr’s educational work is informed by her 30 years of practice as an artist. Commissioners include brands, charities and cultural & creative institutions such as Spitting Image, New Scientist, Common Ground, British Waterways, Arts Council, Kew Gardens, Compton Verney and the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery.
Carr’s artistic practice has included graphic, textile, exhibition design and landscape sculpture – this took her on a three-month secondment in Brazil funded by The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in 1989, commissioned to work as an artist alongside anthropologists and botanists. Awarded a fellowship from The Zibby Garrnett Foundation, Lincoln University in 2000, Carr studied the interface between art and horticulture at Jardins de Métis and international Festival Of Art in the Garden.
Director, Office & Development Manager – Gemma Corden
Profile: After completing a BA in English at Birmingham City University, Gemma became a freelance journalist specialising in the arts, culture & social impact. She was commissioned by a number of publications and websites to write pieces on cultural organisations from across the West Midlands region.
It was through this work that Gemma met Hybrid Arts, when she profiled the company for Channel 4’s IDEASFactory project in late 2004. She shared a real affinity with the team, and once the article was published they stayed in touch. After another year of freelancing Gemma decided to put her skills to best use in supporting and promoting the work of Hybrid Arts, by joining the team to become their Writer & Researcher in 2005.
Over the last ten years Gemma’s role has evolved, being a key support behind the scenes, promoting the company’s best practices and writing development bids. She continues to support Hybrid Arts’s development in her current role of Office & Development Manager.
Chair of the Board, Non-Executive Director – Val Smith
Profile: Hailing from a Leicestershire coal mining family, Val left home to pursue a Nursing career aged 17, qualifying as a Nurse at Nottingham General Hospital, later training to become a Midwife, and following her experiences as a ward sister decided to become a Health Visitor.
She found herself working in Seattle for the American Cancer Society, moving to Yakima and becoming a volunteer at St Elisabeth’s hospital, starting an innovative group for cancer patients with a colleague at 30-years ago.
Val returned to the UK in the mid-1980s, completing a part-time degree at Warwick University in Health & Social Policy whilst working as a Health Visitor. It was here that, during a secondment to a training department, Val became involved in NVQs. She achieved the status of Assessor and Verifier of NVQ Qualifications starting work for Pearson Ed Excel as a Standards Verifier in 2003, around Apprenticeships and Quality Reviews, a role in which she continues today.
Val supports Hybrid Arts in her role as Chair of the Board of Trustees, also working with the Medical Student programme at Warwick University as a Community Clinical Tutor for South Warwickshire Foundation Trust.
Education Manager – Sally Montague
Profile: Specialising in Photography and Film, Sally completed a BA Hons Degree in Media Production at Coventry University. Her studies took her to places such as South East Asia, America and Europe, where she focused her work around culture and politics.
Sally undertook various freelance commissions before deciding to pursue a career teaching within the arts, joining Hybrid Arts in 2011 as a Visual Arts Teaching Assistant as part of a Coventry City Council Internship programme. Sally excelled in her role, and was taken on as a permanent employee when her internship came to an end. She has developed in her role to become Education Manager, devising and delivering a variety of curricula to hundreds of learners, and overseeing the delivery and quality of qualifications at Hybrid Arts. Sally plays a key role in delivering our Level 2 and Level 3 Art and Design qualifications, completing on-the-job training to become a Qualified Teacher in 2014.
Pastoral Care Manager – Gwenyth Mafham
Profile: In her role as Pastoral Care Manager, Gwenyth aims to help our students make the most of their opportunities at Hybrid Arts and within their wider education, by addressing areas that hold them back, for example low confidence, low self-esteem or anxiety.
Gwenyth was employed by the Coventry NHS Partnership Trust for 10 years working with The Community Drugs Team, delivering pioneering work in bringing complimentary medicine into this setting. She has a wealth of experience working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds struggling with drug use and low self-esteem.
Gwenyth is a Homeopath with over 20 years experience. Registered with the Society of Homeopathy, she works to a code and ethics of practice – details of which are available to view online http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/about-the-society/professional-conduct/code-of-ethics-and-practice/