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The National Lottery's
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About the Artists

Maria Connolly

Founder, 1 Eleven Theatre

Maria Connolly, award-winning actress and writer from Carrickfergus lost a year's worth of work as a result of coronavirus. With her new play Conversations with Angels postponed, this didn't stop her. Read about how she wrote, produced, directed and acted in another play - The Broads - on The National Lottery's Good Causes blog.

Dr Jenny Elliott

CEO & Artistic Director, Arts Care

Arts Care is a unique regional Arts & Health organisation based in Belfast. Founded on the idea of giving patients, families, staff and visitors in healthcare environments a better quality healthcare experience through participation and access to the arts, it delivers a weekly programme of art of all kinds across five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Shamim Azad

Poet in residence, Apples and Snakes

Apples and Snakes is a charity that champions unheard voices through poetic endeavours. She provides training and education to schools and communities across England.

Vic Brown

Founder, New Urban Era

New Urban Era is an arts project that is successfully drawing in a strong youth following with everything from outdoor murals to beatboxing and breakdancing. This year, the Tamworth based project celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Patrick Joseph

Creator, Mask Makers

North Wales-based tailor-to-the-stars Patrick Joseph created the Mask Makers in April 2020, a group comprised of friends and local volunteers looking to both learn how to sew and help frontline workers in need. The following month they were fully operational and sending out their first batch.

Anouar Kassim

Founding Director, Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture

MKIAC was established in 2002 to deliver art workshops, seminars and events that explore the themes of architecture, geometry, arabesque and garden design. Promoting contemporary and traditional Islamic arts and culture through education, the group works with schools, communities and artists in developing programmes that engage people to tell stories that bring about social impact and change.

Mojisola Elufowoju

Founder & Artistic Director, Utopia Theatre

Utopia Theatre commissions writers and produces plays focused on telling the stories of Africans in the diaspora, dispelling stereotypes and giving visibility to often overlooked narratives.

Jennifer Hill

Producer, Welsh National Opera

Hill is responsible for Cradle, a creative arts project in Pembrokeshire that aims to create awareness of what it means to live with dementia and create a more supportive society for those with the disease.

Abby Canning

Programme Curator, Derby Quad

Abbie Canning runs the Q Club at Derby QUAD, an independent contemporary arts centre in Derby. Created for children on the autistic spectrum, those with additional support needs, who are socially excluded, or have disabilities, the programme allows young people to explore digital technologies in a creative art context.

Beth James

Artistic Director, Square Pegs Arts

Beth James runs Square Pegs Arts, a Kent-based theatre company for children, young people and adults with disabilities and autism.

Penny Rawlings

Manager, Preludes, The Bristol Ensemble

Preludes, the education arm of the Bristol Ensemble, works in areas of Bristol that experience high levels of economic disadvantage and aims to put music at the heart of every child's education.

Laura Aldridge & Leanne Ross


Laura Aldridge & Leanne Ross are from KMAdotcom, an artist collective in Dalkeith, where artists with and without learning disabilities can develop their creative practices. They continued their artistic collaboration throughout lockdown giving artist Leanne an outlet during the long months of necessary shielding. Find out more about their lockdown projects on The National Lottery Good Causes blog.

Liz Treacher

Lead Reader, Open Book

Liz Treacher, a writer, is the lead reader for Open Book in Brora, a remote town in the Highlands. Open Book uses literature to connect people, build communities and to amplify voices that often go unheard. The charity works across eight sectors including prisons, multi-cultural groups, residential settings for the elderly, islands, and healthcare.

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