Right now it feels like the rest of the sector are starting to catch up and are looking to companies like Spare Tyre for inspiration.

Sarah Dean has been a Spare Tyre Trustee since early 2021 and recently took over as Chair from Michelle Smith. We're very grateful for Michelle's four years service as Chair and delighted to say she is staying on the Board as a Trustee.

Sarah is going to work with us over the next year to further evolve our governance, which we hope we includes appointing a Co-Chair and then passing on the role when a new structure is in place.

Here she talks a bit about her background and what it means to be on the Spare Tyre board.

Can you tell us a bit about your professional background? 

I studied Drama at Manchester University with a focus on community theatre and theatre in prisons. I have since worked in the arts and campaigning for over 20 years. This included working for Amos Trust, an international human rights organisation using creative campaigning and the arts in India, the West Bank and Gaza. I have also supported intergenerational arts projects in care homes with Magic Me, and have worked regularly worked for Improbable supporting their unconventional conference for theatre and performing arts people, Devoted and Disgruntled. I am currently a member of L'Arche London, a community of adults with and without learning disabilities where I work as the Head of HR and Operations.  

What attracted you to joining the Spare Tyre board? 

I became aware of Spare Tyre's work whilst working in festival programming. Spare Tyre have been a beacon of inclusion and access for such a long time, and the range and depth of the work have made them innovative leaders in truly inclusive participatory work, so when I saw the opportunity to join the board I jumped at it.  

What opportunities do you see for participatory arts in the future? 

For a long time community and participatory arts organisations like Spare Tyre have been pioneering and practising true inclusion, quietly modelling this way of working for years in their every day practice–whether that's working out how someone with dementia can be included in a workshop or thinking through how a carer can be supported to participate alongside the person they care for.  Right now it feels like the rest of the sector are starting to catch up and are looking to companies like Spare Tyre for inspiration. I hope that the board can support Spare Tyre to take this opportunity to not only share our knowledge and expertise more widely, but also to shout about Spare Tyre's work, achievements and our brilliant, creative community of artists and members.