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Who is on Sync Intensives?

Monday 15th March, 2010

Susan Austin in her wheelchair underwater.

We are delighted to announce the 15 people who will be taking up places on our Sync Intensives programme this year – a truly diverse group that we can’t wait to start working with (it was supposed to be 12, but the quality of the candidates was so high, we’ve had to raise it to include 3 more!)

As with Sync 20, our group includes individual artist practioners, and those working within disability specific and mainstream arts and cultural organisations.

From within arts organisations, we have Laura Cream, Programme Manager at Shape, Rachel Bagshaw, Training and Learning Projects Manager at Graeae and Sue Williams, Senior Strategy Officer, Diversity (Disability)
Arts Council England.

Within other sectors we have Rachael Wallach, Service Development Officer, Library and Information Service within the London Borough of Lewisham, Patricia Collins, museum curator and Faye Stewart, Project Co-ordinator, SCA Enterprise Office, University of the West of England, Bristol.

We have a storyteller – Robin Meader, Artistic Director of Open Storytellers, a group of Storytellers with learning disabilities from Somerset; a musician - Jez Colbourne, aka JC Jamma, a former winner of the European Song Contest for Disabled Artists and one of the only learning disabled performers to take his one man show on an international tour with Mind the Gap; and a dancer and choreographer - Michael Mitchell, Artistic Director of Dance Aware.

We have two film makers – Liz Crow, recently spotted wearing a Nazi uniform on top of the fourth Plinth in Trafaglar Square as part of Gormley’s One & Other project, and Caglar Kimyoncu, film maker and founding director of Filmpro. We have Simon McKeown, creator of both the digital artwork Motion Disabled and the digitally animated bats on Coronation Street amongst other things, Susan Austin, whose work, including 'Submerged, I Stand Proud' (which is an image of the artist in her wheelchair underwater, has been shown at Holton Lee and in other galleries.

When she heard she had gained a place on the Intensives programme, Susan said:

"I feel very excited and honoured to be part of this years Sync Intensives. Following on from attending the Leaders into Leading Workshop, meeting such a diverse range of interesting and exciting people and having my ideas about leadership completely transformed, I can't wait to start engaging in the Sync process, working with a coach and meeting the other people who will be accompanying me on this journey. I feel that attending the training day and now becoming part of the Intensives progamme has been the start of a complete paradigm shift. It seems like it will enable me to engage with 'The Arts' from a completely new and empowered perspective, rooted in valuing the unique expertise we can all bring.”

Our final two ‘intensives’ join the programme as part of their success in gaining placement opportunities through CLP. Deepa Shastri, formerly Audience Liaison Officer at StageText, will be taking up her placement with Unlimited, with London 2012 and Theresa de Swiet will be taking up her placement with Whitechapel Gallery in London as part of the CLP/ACE Leading in London opportunities.

Each person on the intensives programme will have an opportunity to create an article for the Sync website and add their case study to our growing resource. We can’t wait to get started and luckily we don’t have long before our first session is planned – at the end of April in Bristol.


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Tuesday 23rd March, 2010


Congratulations to all those involved with the new Sync Intensive programmes.

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