julia keenan

Julia Keenan – Chair

“I have known both the staff and board for some years now and value all their commitment, passion and resilience in producing a fantastic festival and organisation which is unique in supporting the lives of disabled and Deaf people. I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to continue to support this work as Vice Chair of DaDaFest.”

Trustee of DaDaFest since 2013, and formerly DaDaFest’s Relationship Manager with Arts Council England.

Julia is currently working as a freelance artist and Arts Consultant in the arts and cultural sector, specialising in inclusive practice.  She finished her MA in Fine Art and Culture at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004. Julia uses her knowledge and experience in equality, diversity and disability practice to open up more opportunities to Deaf and disabled people, artists, families and communities.

Why do you like being a Board Member for DaDaFest?

“DaDaFest is a unique organization led by disabled and Deaf people, creating art and cultural experiences that are innovative, relevant and challenging. As a trained professional artist, I look for high caliber artistic collaborations alongside a sense of social justice both nationally and Internationally.  DaDaFest delivers this in spades.”

 What are your hopes for the future of Disability and Deaf Arts?

“The quality of the art and its relevance is key to its success as an arts movement. I would hope there is more understanding of ‘disability’ as a political and social landscape among the general population and everyone connects with the DaDaFest values of inclusivity, creativity and social justice.”

a photograph of Michelle smiling

Michelle Stubbs – Vice Chair

“It’s great to have been recognised as a member of the senior management team within the Board at such an exciting time for DaDaFest; when acknowledging the talents of disabled artists and changing the public perception of disability has rarely been more important. My hope is that, in my role as a Vice Chair, I will help DaDaFest to continue to look toward the future, explore and expand its goals, find recognition outside the disability arts community and retain its reputation as a trailblazer and leader in its field.”

Michelle has been involved with a number of arts organisations, often in marketing and fundraising capacities, and continues to immerse herself in the arts at every available opportunity.

Why do you like being a Board Member for DaDaFest?
“The atmosphere within DaDaFest is one of dynamism and innovation, whilst encouraging individual expression and development.  The organisation allows the voices of disabled people to be heard and champions their rights and abilities; it’s wonderful to be a part of that.”

What are your hopes for the future of Disability and Deaf Arts?
“I hope that DaDaFest’s reach continues to grow, allowing for greater light to be shone on the disability and Deaf arts movement, and that these artists will gain the level of recognition that they deserve.”

Janet Price speaking into a microphone

Dr Janet Price

Janet is a feminist disabled campaigner who advocates queer crip politics. She works on issues of sexuality, disability and social justice largely in UK and India. Janet is strongly committed to the arts and their role in advancing marginalised people’s agency.

Why do you like being a Board Member for DaDaFest?
“The creative contact with other disabled people. The sense that DaDaFest offers a space for disabled people to expand their perspectives on themselves and their artistic potential, and also that DaDaFest challenges non-disabled peoples perspectives on disability.”

What are your hopes for the future of Disability and Deaf Arts?
“That DaDaFest continues to expand the work it does geographically to link up with more individuals and groups nationally and internationally; and that more disabled young people are offered the opportunity to develop artistic skills and talents and to work in the arts.”


Julie for website

Julie Hanna 

Julie’s background is as a health practitioner. She worked for many years as an occupational therapist in specialist mental health services. Julie now works as a full time member of academic staff in the School of Health Sciences in the University of Liverpool.  She was seconded for 5 years to Liverpool City Council to develop and lead the arts and health programme as part of Liverpool’s 2008 European Capital of Culture celebrations. It was during this period that she first met and worked with DaDaFest and Ruth Gould. Ruth had an invaluable role in offering support and guidance at a crucial period to the creative communities team in which Julie was based within Liverpool’s Culture Company.

Julie gained very much from this experience and decided that if possible she would like to learn more about the impact of engagement in the arts on people’s health and wellbeing. Julie was fortunate to gain a place to study at the University of Liverpool for one year full time for a Masters in Research exploring different aspects of arts and health. Shortly after completing her studies she was made redundant from the NHS then worked independently for more than 3 years. This work included carrying out small scale evaluations for local arts organisations exploring the impact on well-being. Julie has developed a particular area of interest in dance and movement on people’s health and wellbeing.

Julie also worked for DaDaFest and led on a project called Arts Life which was a small study to further understand disabled people’s access needs in order to participate in mainstream arts and cultural activities in Liverpool.

Since May 2014 she has been based at Liverpool University and a member of the DaDaFest Board. Julie enjoys contributing and continuing to learn from an organisation that appreciates and understands the role of arts engagement on people’s lives.

Cllr. Pam Thomas

 Pam Thomas represents Liverpool City Council on the DaDaFest board.




Maureen Royce





 miroMiro Griffiths MBE

Miro has worked in disability issues for over twelve years and collaborated with various organisations, institutes and government departments on a wide range of issues pertaining to disability.  In May 2014, he was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) as recognition of my service to disabled people.  As a member of the UK Disabled People’s Movement, Miro is aware of the necessary presence the people of the Movement have in order to raise awareness of key issues and work alongside those in decision-making positions to create positive change.

His understanding of disability issues was initially shaped by his own personal experience of having a physical impairment but is now complimented with a professional and academic background in this area.  As of January 2015, he is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD researcher at Liverpool John Moores University.  The PhD is investigating the following research question: What are the experiences of young disabled people when presented with opportunities to become active in promoting disability rights, leading campaigns and challenging current agendas?

Why did you decide to join the DaDaFest Board?
“I am very honoured to have been asked to join the board and excited about the opportunity to continue the hard work and progress being made by those working within or collaborating with DaDaFest. It is vital that we continue to explore how the arts can be used as a vehicle for creating positive change, developing inclusive practices and exploring our understanding of disablement.”

What are your hopes for the future of disability and Deaf arts?
“My hope is that we can continue to celebrate the exceptional work being done by Deaf and disabled artists, challenge the oppressive constructions within society that continue to disable many people from marginalised backgrounds and ensure all aspects of society recognise the importance and value of deaf and disabled artists and their work.”

FullSizeRenderMichael Sandys

Michael is qualified as a barrister and solicitor practising in Company/Commercial law with particular expertise in Intellectual Property, Media and commercial agreements.  He is a Partner at Guy Williams Layton LLP based in Liverpool.  He is currently Chair of Sefton and Ormskirk FSB and has been a Director of DaDa since 2015.  Michael is married with three children and lives in Southport.  He enjoys travel, politics, history, music and art.  He also follows Liverpool FC and is proud to be part of the Liverpool Business Community helping small to medium sized businesses including the creative sector.

IMG_2968Robert Martin

Robert is a freelance marketing consultant working primarily within arts, culture and tourism, specialising in digital. Before going freelance, his background included work with Manchester International Festival, The Lowry and Visit Britain, amongst many others, and he edited the influential Time Out what’s on guides to both Manchester and Leeds for two years. Robert turned a hobby into another aspect of his professional life by establishing his own photography and video business, and has photographed artists and performers such as Kenneth Branagh and Maggi Hambling. He’s had several exhibitions, including Gentlemen of a Certain Age, a portraiture of gay men aged 50+, in conjunction with Age Concern. Having worked closely with Result CIC, a company which offers coaching and training to marginalised people, Robert was introduced to DaDaFest and his passion for social inclusion and interest in the arts has led to his position as a board member.

He lives in Salford with his husband Hormoz and their dog Dusty, and is currently writing a children’s book in which disability is a central theme.


a photograph of Gary wearing a dinner jacket and tie

Gary Dunn

Gary became aware of DaDaFest through school when he was able to participate in many activities. Gary is now an apprentice heavy goods mechanic. Gary enjoys being part of DaDaFest because it allows expression and confidence building through the arts and gives people a platform to show their potential, thus helps more people around the world to build their confidence and succeed.

Why do you want to be part of DaDaFest?

To help DaDaFest succeed in their goals.

What are your hopes for the future of Disability and Deaf Arts?

That DaDaFest helps more people around the world to build their confidence and succeed.

With Thanks to:

a photograph of Bernard smilingBernard Martin

 Following management training in the commercial sector Bernard has spent some 30 years as a senior manager or consultant for arts and other not-for-profit companies.

Bernard was a DaDaFest Board advisor for 10 years. We would like to thank him for his valuable contribution.


Terry Dickman


We would like to thank Terry for his valuable service to the DaDaFest board.

Why did you want to become part of the DaDaFest board?

“I am involved because I like the idea that the arts can be a vehicle for empowerment for disabled people.”

We are open to new board members and welcome applications, if you would like to know more please contact us.

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