Tony TraffordChair of First Art

Tony is a TV Professional and multiple award winner with considerable experience as a producer, director, writer and composer. He’s worked in corporate and commercials as well as broadcast and his work has won awards for fiction, fact and advertising. Very active locally, he chairs a number of community and voluntary bodies, apart from First Art, including Stainsby Festival, a not-for-profit, volunteer run event with a national reputation in its field.

At his fantasy dinner party, he would invite: Francois Truffaut, Peter Brook and Simon Jeffes


Madeline Holmes – Creative Director of First Art (Chief Executive of City Arts)

Madeline has extensive experience, as both a practitioner and curator, in visual arts and media. Having worked as a programmer in galleries and art centres, and as a freelance artist film and video maker, Madeline moved into senior arts management and development roles in Derby and Nottingham, including leading organisational and capital development programmes. She is delighted to be directly involved in artistic programming once again - and would love to commission the First Art ‘dream dinner party’.


Paul Steele – Creative Director of First Art (Managing Director of Junction Arts)

Managing Director of Junction Arts in Chesterfield and Creative Director of the First Art Project.


Jane Wells – Producer for Communities

Jane Wells is an experienced arts and heritage professional. She has worked in a wide range of development and community engagement roles over the last twenty years. Jane is also a creative in her own right - she has designed and made shoes, clothes, bags and even knitted cats and dogs in her varied career!

Fantasy dinner party guests are Kate Moss, Cary Grant and Kathryn Hepburn.


Alma Solarte-Tobon – Producer for Communities

From her role at City Arts and previous practises, Alma has a wealth of experience that comes from working with a wide range community groups. She is particularly conscious of the importance and need for diversity and inclusion within the community. Alma enjoys inspiring people to take part in the arts and to share the sense of connection.

Fantasy dinner guests would be Robin Williams, Iain Banks and Leonard Nimoy (For their views and advice about the world in general but most of all because we would have laughed so much).


Gary Huddless – Communications and Audience Development Officer

Gary graduated a Masters degree in Creative Writing in 2010. From his base in London he spent several years working in the film industry, moving from Production Assistant to Third Assistant Director. He moved back to his homeland of Derbyshire in 2012 to share his time between writing and working in Communications and PR. Passionate about literature, theatre and film.

Sitting at his fantasy dinner table would be DH Lawrence, Hanif Kureishi and Zadie Smith.



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