National Festival of Making Team

About the Team

The National Festival of Making is curated, produced and delivered by the Festival of Making Community Interest Company (CIC) – registered number: The social enterprise, set up in 2017 has evolved to deliver a festival weekend and year round cultural programme that celebrates making and manufacturing from the kitchen table to the factory floor and advocates for impactful and place specific cultural regeneration in Blackburn, Lancashire and the North.

How We Work

The Festival of Making is led by Directors and co-founders Lauren Zawadzki and Elena Jackson and co-founder Wayne Hemingway, who work closely with core partners to deliver the Festival’s vision. The network of partners is vital to the CIC and has become a significant factor in the growth, success and the amplification of impact the Festival and its programme has had. Through our strategic partnership working and ambitious curation, the Festival has come to play a meaningful role in the cultural landscape of Blackburn, Lancashire and the North of England and acts as an advocate for meaningful cultural regeneration. 

We work collaboratively with the district’s unitary authority – Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council who, through a team of project Directors and Officers provide strategic support, practical town centre management and local expertise; Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme, Super Slow Way are co-commissioners; Creative Lancashire supports the CIC with regional strategic development through DCMS and national networks.

Not limited to core partnerships, the Festival CIC has developed a model for stakeholder engagement that sees us engage with upward of 40 committed organisations and individuals through regular stakeholder meetings. Participation in the development of the Festival comes from education providers; artists; independent business owners; community groups; large scale industry; the charity sector and national organisations.

These partnerships and stakeholder relationships exemplify our working methodologies and express the potential for the successful development of a stronger cultural ecology, social impact and culture led regeneration through collaborative working between the independent, private, not for profit and authority sectors.

Festival Directors

Lauren Zawadzki

Festival Director


Lauren Zawadzki is the Festival Director and Co-Founder of the National Festival of Making CIC. Lauren works across the full scope of the company’s activities, including strategic development, commissioning of new artistic work, stakeholder and partnership relations, fundraising and producing specific projects within the organisation’s creative portfolio. 

Lauren graduated from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts with a first class honours degree. Prior to returning to education Lauren already had a successful career in large-scale commercial construction working on some of the UK’s largest construction projects, bringing unique transferable skills to the cultural industries.

Lauren and Elena are very much a team when it comes to leading the organisation, whether it be development and strategy or the initiation of new artistic concepts and programmes. The work is varied, exciting, and challenging.

Lauren regularly returns to LIPA to give guest lectures and is a Trustee of music education charity More Music and Co-Founder of culture company Deco Publique.

decopublique.co.uk  |  @laurenzawadzki

Elena Jackson

Festival Director


Elena Jackson is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the National Festival of Making and co-founder of culture company Deco Publique. 

Curator of the National Festival of Making’s artistic commissioning programme, Art in Manufacturing, Elena has placed 26 artists in residence with industry to date, establishing relationships with private sector companies and commissioning artists to produce ambitious new works.

Elena works across the creative festival programme – working with artists, industry and communities to produce mass and intimate art and cultural experiences that feel rooted in place. Together with Lauren, Elena shapes the Festival’s vision and works to ensure the curated programme upholds the aims of the CIC; strategically develops the festival within the context of the regional and national arts ecology and secures project investment.

Elena is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Board Director of embedded art practice In-Situ. 

decopublique.co.uk  |  @elenakatejackson

Community Interest Company Board Directors

Board Director and Co-Founder

Wayne Hemingway


Wayne Hemingway MBE is a founding member of the Festival of Making CIC. Wayne is a Blackburnian (and a Blackburn Rovers fan to boot), having lived and been to school in the town from the age of 7 to 18. Wayne built up the global fashion brand Red or Dead, manufacturing and retailing in Blackburn before selling the company and establishing  the multi-disciplinary design studio, HemingwayDesign and going on to deliver acclaimed housing regeneration, urban design and cultural events. It was while working on the urban design / placemaking project, Blackburn is Open, that the National Festival of Making idea was formulated.

Alongside being recognised as Doctor of Design by several universities he has sat on the Trustee Board at the Design Council and currently supports the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as a Design Advocate.


Board Director

Jamie Holman


Jamie Holman leads Fine Art at Blackburn College University Centre and works from a studio in the town. He is a director of Prism Contemporary gallery in Blackburn and a non executive director of The National Festival of Making.

In 2017 Jamie was commissioned as part of Art in Manufacturing Season One and went on to become a core advocate for the festival.

Jamie’s work is multi disciplinary and is often fabricated using industrial processes or with heritage crafts makers and artists. His work is informed by the heritage of working class communities, in particular the impact of the industrial revolution and the cultures that have manifested as a consequence of its emergence and subsequent decline. Jamie also works as one half of “uncultured creatives “ a collaboration with producer Alex Zawadzki, delivering works in public, digital, print and traditional gallery spaces.

jamieholman.com |  @jamie_holman_studio

Festival Team

Becci Wilson


Becci is a qualified Accounting Technician and is currently in her final year, studying for a Business with Accounting Degree at the University of Cumbria.

Becci has a wealth of experience in both charitable and commercial sectors and supports the team on a wide range of accounting and administrative tasks, also providing a continued office presence when the rest of the team are out on the festival site.

She has a passion for music and crafts and regularly attends local events and workshops with her family in order to engage with the local community and share her creative interests with her son in particular.

Daisy Williamson


Daisy is an artist from the rural North West and a graduate of Lancaster University. She initially came to the business on a placement through the FASS Internship programme and after 2 months intensive placement officially joined the team as a Project Assistant.

Daisy’s provides support to the programme producers and recently co-produced 300 creative activity boxes delivered to children in Blackburn as part of the National Festival of Making.

Daisy generates content for our social media platforms as well as assisting across our project portfolio. In Daisy’s own practice she concentrates on opening up the dialogue around everyday sexism and has had her work exhibited in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster.

Ellie Rutherford


Ellie has recently graduated from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with a First-Class Honours Degree in Management of Music, Entertainment, Theatre & Events. Ellie’s 3rd year research paper studied Socioeconomic Status and Engagement in the arts, discussing why gaps in art consumption occur and how it links with an individual’s socioeconomic status.

Ellie assists with different aspects of programming, projects and administration duties. She is also tasked with developing the Volunteer Programme which led to further academic studies on how the events industry use volunteers and the reciprocal value for both parties.

When she isn’t with us, Ellie also still works with Highest Point Festival and at Lancaster’s newest event space ‘Kanteena.’ Outside of work and events, Ellie has a love of Paddleboarding and Photography in the nearby Lake District.

Emma Colbert


Emma works as the Festival’s Social Media & Marketing Coordinator and is a freelance artist and designer.

Based in Lancashire, Emma studied Fine Art at Blackburn College’s University Centre graduating in 2019 with a First Class Honours Degree. Since, she has gone on to work in Digital Marketing and has worked with organisations such as In-Situ and Community Clothing.

With a studio at Prism Contemporary, her creative practice explores the use of colour and composition to create vibrant abstract work primarily through printmaking, painting and mural design.

Emma is also the co-founder of ‘girls girls girls’, a feminist based artist duo and curatorial practice who create work around the themes of mental health, self-love and gender.


Jackie Jones


Jackie is a multi-skilled Production & Project Manager and Producer with 10 years cultural event development and delivery experience across a variety of innovative arts projects and programmes.

From her base in Preston, Lancashire, Jackie has successfully managed and delivered over 30 site-specific partnership productions and in excess of 200 venue based events. Jackie is well versed in building lasting relationships and networks and experienced in working with a wide variety of partners from grass roots community groups, those at risk, galleries, libraries, museums, festivals, theatre companies, local authorities, charities and individual artists.

Originally from the Midlands and trained as a set designer, Jackie has worked in theatre and digital design in London and Brighton and also managed to squeeze in sailing the South Pacific Seas.

Wider Festival Team

Lead, Design & Brand

Stephen Caton, Source Creative


Stephen is from Lancashire and studied Graphic Design at Blackburn College. He has worked in the creative industries for 30 years, founding Source since 2001, who he runs with his wife Catherine. Small, but perfectly formed, Source combine their multi-disciplinary skills with other talented local companies to deliver great work with great service.

Stephen is responsible for all areas of branding and design for The National Festival of Making. This also includes evolving branding for our many projects including The Art of Manufacturing, Less Waste More Taste and Let’s Make.

Stephen is embedded in the concept of making and works with our partners to find creative ways to utilise their products and resources. We’ve had laser cut waymaking signs, cardboard jigsaw puzzle logo signs and 3D brand shapes. Stephen has also been collaborating with the students on the Graphic Design course at Blackburn College to produce brand assets for the festival.

sourcecreative.co.uk  |  @madeatsource

Lead, PR & Communications

Rob Allen, Perspective PR


Rob Allen established Perspective Communications in 2012 to offer over a decade of experience across the arts, the private and public sectors to creatives working in the visual and performing arts, music, festivals and engagement projects that connect communities with bright ideas. Gaining high-level results on a freelance basis, Rob helped to develop The National Festival Of Making from a promise to a trusted and valued event, winning broad public awareness and moving communities to attend, providing marketing planning, stakeholder communications and media relations. Winning and safeguarding the festival’s enduring connection with the wide range of people and organisations connected to the annual event and year-round activities, festival campaigns have adhered to the key communications principles of rigorous planning, creative thinking and timely delivery.

maintainperspective.co.uk |  @wordsandstories

Fabulous day @festofmaking a celebration of art, creativity manufacturing and making. Blackburn you should be proud!

Jane Beardsworth | Twitter

Great atmosphere and feeling of unity. #workingtogether #supporting #Lancashire

North West Food & Drink

There was such a positive vibe and a beautiful diverse turnout that celebrated everything Lancashire is and was.

Zainab Bilal

Festival Advocates

Christine Cort

Managing Director, Manchester International Festival


Ed Matthews Gentle

Senior Project Officer, Lancashire County Council


Jenny Rutter

Chair, Creative Lancashire


Andrew Graham, MBE

CEO Graham & Brown

Laurie Peake

Director, Super Slow Way


Patrick Grant

Designer, Manufacturer and Television Presenter


Rebecca Johnson

Arts & Heritage Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

There was such a positive vibe and a beautiful diverse turnout that celebrated everything Lancashire is and was.

Zainab Bilal



2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

The National Festival of Making is supported with funding from Arts Council England and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

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