Jan Ryan - Director
Jan Ryan has been working in the arts for over thirty years, having been initially inspired to go into the business by seeing 7/84's production of John Arden's play, The Ballygombeen Bequest at the Edinburgh Festival in the seventies!
Prior to this, she spent a year as a trainee fashion buyer in Harrods, organised second mortgages for the Commercial Bank of Wales and taught English and Drama in further education.
Her first arts job was with The Tramshed in Woolwich, as publicity officer. From there she moved to Interaction where she ran Dogg's Troupe. At the same time, she did a postgraduate diploma in Arts Administration at City University -one of the very few arts administration courses in existence at that time.
She subsequently worked with the Half Moon Theatre, the Half Moon Young People's Theatre and Sphinx, Worcester Arts Workshop, the English String Orchestra and Arts Council England before being invited to set up the touring department at Birmingham Rep. During this time she instigated an exchange with Birmingham Rep in Alabama and took the company's work to venues of all scales throughout the UK as well as to France and Germany.
In 1992, she set up UK Arts International.
In addition to her work with UKAI, Jan has also been international consultant for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Danish Performing Arts Market. She has run workshops through the British Council and Visiting Arts for artists and producers in Zimbabwe and South Africa, has contributed to a publication on BME theatre, Staging New Britain, and given papers at arts conferences around the world.
She was also involved in organizing three of Arts Council England's decibel events and was on the advisory board of the African Odyssey Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.