Our Team

Our Staff

Eileen Branagh, Chief Executive Officer of Open Arts

Eileen Branagh – Chief Executive Officer

Email: eileen@openartsni.org

Eileen has been working in the arts sector for nearly 25 years. She took up her position as CEO in April 2013. Prior to this she was Manager with The Beat Carnival for 10 years. Previous to working with Beat Carnival, she was Production Manager with Open Arts on the large-scale spectacle for the Opening of the Special Olympics in Dublin, 2003 and also worked with numerous other festivals.

In 2018 she completed CO3s ‘Excelling in Leadership’ programme and in 2019, she achieved a Post Graduate Certificate (Distinction) in Executive Leadership with Ulster University through the Creating Futures programme, funded by Belfast City Council. She is Chairperson of Paradosso Theatre Company.

Beverley McGeown – Musical Director

Email: bev@openartsni.org

Beverley has worked with Open Arts since 1995. She is the primary tutor for Javanese Gamelan in Northern Ireland, having trained in Indonesia in 1995 and 2002. She is Director of the Open Arts Community Choir, which she has led over the past 20 years to great success and accolades. She also leads music sessions for adults with disabilities, including those living with dementia, and is the lead musician for Open Arts’ In Tune project, funded by Children in Need.

Jemma Robinson – Finance & Programme Officer

Email: jemma@openartsni.org 

Jemma has been with Open Arts since March 2015. Prior to this she worked as an accounts clerk for 9 years with a family owned company before moving to the arts sector in 2013. She studied music at South Eastern Regional College, Bangor and at Queens University, Belfast, where she completed a BSc in Music Technology specialising in electronic music composition for film. In 2014 she collaborated with Irish writer Caroline Healey in her mixed media exhibition “Fully Booked.” The exhibition was showcased at the 2014 Belfast Book festival and was the first public showcase of her work. She is also a member in the Open Arts Community Choir.

In June 2023 she completed an ILM Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management through NICVA.

This is a picture of Cinzia.

Cinzia Savonitti – Communications & Development Assistant

Email: cinzia@openartsni.org 

Cinzia, originally from Italy, came to Belfast in 2014 as an EVS volunteer with the Crescent Arts Centre, which is when she discovered Open Arts and in particular, Luminous Soul dance company. Highlights of her dance career with Luminous Soul include performing at Echo Echo Festival, portraying Hermia in Open Arts production of Midsummer Night’s Dream and participating in MeetShareDance Festivals. In 2021, Cinzia received a grant award through University of Atypical to develop her own dance work exploring disability and language.

Cinzia holds a BA in Film Studies from Università degli Studi di Udine and in 2019 graduated with a masters degree in Translation from Queen’s University, Belfast.

She has been working as a library assistant with Queen’s University for 5 years.

She joined Open Arts in 2022 as Communication and Development Assistant and is looking forward to working on her passion of equity for disabled people in the arts.

Artists, Arts Access Assistants and Volunteers

Open Arts uses a bank of professional, experienced and trained community artists to facilitate our various classes and workshops. The artists, who are involved in the delivery of our programme are some the most experienced facilitators in working with disabled people in Northern Ireland.  Open Arts also uses Arts Access Assistants on a sessional basis. Arts Access Assistants are engageed specifically to ensure that any participant who requires additional support has access to it and can participate to the best of their ability in a safe and enjoyable environment. Volunteers are mostly referred through the Action Mental Health programme, New Horizons, which helps people to overcome the effects of mental ill health and in many cases return to work.

Our Board

Chairperson, Margaret Mann

Vice-Chairperson, Andrea Hope

Treasurer, Ian Lindsay
Secretary, Shane Finnegan
Caitriona Murtagh
Judith McConville
Katherine Hughes
Sinead O’Donnell