2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

Inspired and Inspirational – Four New Board Members Revealed On International Women’s Day

8th March 2021

The expertise and passion that drives the National Festival of Making has been strengthened by the power of four, with the appointment of new Board Members in an exciting start to 2021

Each of the four, new appointees have pledged their commitment and specialist knowledge to ensure the festival and its year-round activities are planned and delivered with the furthest-reaching impact and legacy, drawing on their vast collective knowledge.

It is the National Festival of Making’s pleasure to welcome Carly Henderson, Lydia Entwistle, Claire Mander and Salma Chaudhry as Non-Executive Directors.  

Oversight of the Festival of Making Community Interest Company (CIC) has been undertaken by individuals connected to, and independent of, the programme since its inception in 2017.  As the community around the festival has grown with its ambitions, a more and a more diverse range of voices have been recruited to help guide the way. The collective aim of the company, it’s partners, sponsors and wide network of contributors, is to help unlock the potential of making in all capacities, but particularly for health & well-being, skill sharing, enterprise and enhancing cultural capacity; aims harnessed and shared by the festival CIC’s Non-Executive Board.

Encompassing experience in arts commissioning, manufacturing, education, public engagement, cultural funding and so much more, here are the inspired and inspirational, new members of the National Festival of Making CIC Board:

Carly Henderson

Dr. Carly Henderson is Head of Learning and Engagement at Oldham Coliseum and leads the theatre’s in-depth programme of work with schools, young people and the community. She works in a multi-disciplinary way with diverse artists and participants to engage people in collaborative theatre making.

Originally from Darwen, she attended St Wilfrid’s School in Blackburn, before studying Drama at Liverpool John Moores University where she graduated with a first class honours degree.

Carly completed her PhD in 2020 at the University of Manchester, where she undertook a practice based study, exploring young people’s relationships to the theatre building. Themes of craft and place emerged, which affirmed Carly’s interests in the unique practices of the National Festival of Making, which she loyally attends as a local participant.


Lydia Entwistle

Lydia Entwistle leads on Engagement at Wac Arts, a creative arts organisation for young people based in Camden, North London. She designs and delivers creative programmes that inspire people to cultivate their creativity and works to remove barriers and enable pathways into the arts.

Born and raised in Lancashire, Lydia participated in the first season of the Art in Manufacturing series, working with choreographer Ruth Jones on our project Traysway. In her role in the industrial bakery management team, Lydia was instrumental in harnessing the power of participatory arts practice through the commissioning programme. She then went on to work for Manchester International Festival, as both a Project Manager and CRM Manager.

Lydia’s an advocate for co-creation, and also works with communities through her own project, Creative Residents, engaging groups in participatory arts practices and empowering service users to tell their stories to policy makers and commissioners.


Image: Cherry Tree Bakery Dancers as part of ‘Traysway’, choreographed by Ruth Jones. Photography by Richard Tymon.

Claire Mander

Claire Mander is the Director and Curator of independent curatorial practice, theCoLAB, based at Somerset House, London. She creates opportunities for artists working in three dimensions to make site specific and place-based interventions by forging unusual collaborations between artists, spaces and organisations. She advocates the vital importance of making skills and drawing as the foundations of excellent work.

Claire, a former City lawyer and previously Deputy Director of the Royal Society of Sculptors, works to support women artists and promote the dynamism of the North. She served as artistic advisor to Morecambe Bay Partnership, is curator of the Women Make Sculpture programme, sits on Westminster’s City of Sculpture panel and is a Trustee of UK Friends of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.


Salma Chaudhry

Salma Chaudhry is an entrepreneur and innovator. Salma has been in business since the age of 24, determined in forging a path in fashion and beauty businesses. From starting, establishing and running an independent Bridal magazine, Salma moved on to create a bespoke fashion boutique and, more recently, became a pioneer of the halal cosmetics sector, founding The Halal Cosmetics Company. An award-winning businessperson, Salma has previously been awarded The Fusion Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, The East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s Newcomer To International Trade accolade and The British Muslim Awards’ Business Woman Of The Year Award.

Salma now supports others to develop successful businesses in her role as an accredited Business Advisor for Manchester Metropolitan University. She is also a mentor for The Ledby Foundation in India, supporting a million women into entrepreneurship. Salma’s passion is to make a difference to local communities and help to ensure a better life for future generations.


To view the whole National Festival of Making Team, click here.




2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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