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Jan Ryan

One of CCS’s founders, Jan Ryan is a creative producer and festival director with more than 40 years’ experience of presenting work that is diverse, inclusive and socially engaged. She established UK Arts International in 1992, working with venues from village halls to the West End and collaborating with organisations such as the Barbican in London, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Market Theatre of Johannesburg. On moving to Margate in 2014, her focus has been on working with local artists. She co-founded and led the Power Of Women festival until 2020 and produced the Making Waves festival for Margate Now in 2019.


Elinor Seath
Partnership and Engagement Manager

Eli has lived in Thanet for five years, having previously co-founded the award-winning Art4Space in Stockwell. With twenty two years’ experience of setting up, project managing and delivering community arts projects across London, she is now developing relationships across the local and wider community, ensuring we create a relevant space that brings people together.

Jan and Eli are supported by:

Administrator -  Martha Rumney

Bookkeeper -  Christina Michaels

Communications - Nathan Jones

Technical Manager - Jamie Pattenden

Security and maintenance - Royden Stock

and by a team of local volunteers who donate their time to help ARK run smoothly.


If you would like to join the

ARK volunteer team, please contact




Stephen Miller

Stephen is Director of Delivery and Impact at Power to Change. He is passionate about supporting organisations develop innovative responses to 21st century challenges, with a particular focus on inclusive growth. He has fifteen years experience of putting insight into action, working with others to design new products and services, evaluate their impact or tell stories through data. As well as Chair of the Cliftonville Cultural Space, he is a trustee of the Charity Evaluation Working Group and sits on an advisory board for the V&A Dundee.


Joanna Alpe

Joanna is chief commercial officer at Bild Studios. With a rich background in global business development for creative technology companies, she oversees Bild’s commercial strategy and development. Having previously founded an award-winning branding agency and a live event technology start-up, Joanna has a wealth of experience working as an independent business consultant to a host of successful start-ups.


Maurice Bitton

Maurice managed the historic Bevis Marks Synagogue in the city of London for 20 years and was instrumental in successfully applying for a substantial capital grant to renovate the building. He has extensive knowledge of how to run and maintain a historic building and has also been involved with the Montefiore Synagogue in Ramsgate for a number of years.


Adam Bolton

Much of Adam’s 20 year-business career has been in the not-for-profit sector, primarily in management roles in membership organisations and trade associations. He has worked extensively in sales, marketing and communications and currently Member Services Director for the Recruitment and Employment Federation. He was previously Head of Membership at Dreamland and has a strong interest in the arts, in particular music, having worked for many years as a sound engineer in the music industry.


Zoë Carassik

Zoë Carassik is CEO of Pie Factory Music, a music and youth work charity based in a busy youth centre in Ramsgate, East Kent. With a background in community music engagement and music education, Zoë's work has predominantly focused on supporting social justice causes and has taken her from immigration removal centres, women's refuges and community centres to world-class cultural institutions and strategic charitable organisations. Zoë is a passionate advocate for young people's rights, ensuring young people are front and centre of the cultural regeneration of Thanet and other areas of high deprivation.


Mia Pollak

Having worked in the arts for over 20 years, Mia is committed to inclusive arts engagement, platforming and supporting creativity. Mia is currently a Director of Margate Pride CIC, an arts-and-culture-led Pride, and is also a traditional signwriter, specialising in gilding and working with glass. Having volunteered for different organisations, and with extensive experience in art production for organisations including the V&A, Tate, National Trust, BFI and Royal Albert Hall, she hopes to be able to contribute to ARK and the wider community.


Aram Rawf

Aram Rawf has lived in Thanet for over 23 years, having arrived as an asylum seeker at the age of 17, spending his first six years in Cliftonville. He speaks four languages and is passionate about making improvements in Thanet, helping wherever he is most needed.  

In 2010 Aram was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK following one of the longest asylum cases to ever run in the country and in 2011 he became a British citizen.

A former district and town councillor for the Labour Party, Aram currently works with Samphire in Dover – an organisation that supports refugees in East Kent. He has volunteered for many groups and organisations in Thanet and hopes his involvement with ARK will help make a difference in our community.


Olivia Schelts-Harris

Olivia is currently Head of Consultation and Participation at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. She is a Cliftonville local with a professional background in business development and community engagement in charities and the public sector. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Voluntary Sector Management from Bayes Business School, and her first love is community work, having been involved in Youth Work organisations across London and Merseyside, including authoring a Social Return On Investment report for the Cabinet Office in 2011. In 2020, whilst at the Salvation Army Olivia led a successful partnership of 13 charities to win the Adult Victims of Modern Slavery Contract with the Home Office. She was previously Chair of Trustees for Awesome CIC, an adventure play Community Interest Company in Islington, London. 

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