Suffolk Festival of Ideas is a Community Interest Company dedicated to creating and increasing access to inspiring cultural environments in Bury St Edmunds and the rest of the county.

We believe access to the arts and their means of production, whether visual, written or performative, should be available to all and not be based on income.

By providing free or subsidised performances, exhibitions and workshops we want to support and re-engage people who may currently face social and financial barriers to their participation – including those have low income, uncertain work patterns or are intimidated by the arts.

Through workshops in schools and free workshops for adults in neutral and public spaces we will encourage people to participate creatively in their own community.

Suffolk Festival of Ideas understands the importance of offering a space for people from different socio-demographic backgrounds and cultures to contribute to shared ideas while voicing their common identity and individuality.

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Who we are:

Anna Bird – Director

Anna is a Co-Founder of Off the Press print studio who offer a screen print service and workshops based in Suffolk. Anna is also a trained art handler freelancing for a range of galleries including the Royal Horticultural Society and Broadway Gallery in Letchworth.

Sam Foley – Director

Sam is a graphic designer who has produced artwork for clients such as Letchworth Garden City and the University of Cambridge. Sam is also an exhibition technician who has installed art works for the Royal Horticultural Society, Arts Council England and Norwich University of the Arts as well as artists including Francis Bacon, Grayson Perry and Richard Smith.

Matt Gaw – Director

Matt is an award-winning journalist who has written for a number of regional and national titles including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and East Anglian Daily Times. Matt edits Suffolk Wildlife magazine on behalf of Suffolk Wildlife Trust and writes a country diary for Suffolk Magazine.

Jen Leavy – Director

Jen Leavy is a social science researcher and academic working in poverty and inequality, mainly in developing countries. Her work includes documenting people’s lived experiences and capturing their narratives using life stories and, more recently, photographs.

Conal Dougan – Website

Conal Dougan is the co-editor of The Fix Magazine, which specialises in culture and entertainment in the South-West. He is a digital marketing wizard, working with small to medium-sized charities across the UK to improve their websites, social media, digital design, e-bulletins and general online presence.

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