Our team


Liz O’Neill
Chief Executive / Artistic Director
Personal Assistant to the CEO

Finance & Admin Team

Gary Padden
General Manager
Alex Berry
Finance Officer


Creative Team

Saskia Metcalf
Head of Creative Development
Gill Balfour
Creative Manager
Yemi Bolatiwa
Engagement Officer

Richard Kankando
Music & Community Studio Manager

Janine Obermaier
Resident Visual Artist
Natasha Stott
Resident Performing Artist


Programme and Marketing Team

Zoe Pickering
Head of Programming & Big Imaginations Manager
Tiffany Bowman
Administration Officer
Melissa Brakel
Manchester Cultural Education Partnership Coordinator
Adam Flint
Adam Flint
Project Manager Manchester Cultural Education Partnership
Tabitha Bowman
Artist Development Officer
Helena Fewkes Marketing and Audience Development Manager


Technical Team

Steve Curtis
Head of Technical and Premises
Jason Hall
Senior Technician


Front of House

Emma Hardman
House Manager
James Kramer
Deputy House Manager (Box Office)
Paul Roberts
Box Office Supervisor
Julie Ridley
Ticketing & Box Office Assistant
Jack Deighton
Cafe Supervisor



Our wonderful facilitators:

Tabitha (Drama Stars and ZYP) – covering maternity leave for Jana

Hi! My name is Tabitha, I teach drama classes at Z-arts. I have trained with the National Youth Theatre, the Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company and have seen first hand the importance of young people attending drama classes to build their confidence and social skills. I specialise in improvising, devising and comedy. I always carry a parachute and a couple of puppet friends!

Kirsty (Happy Makers)

Hi, I’m Kirsty! I’m an artist and creative facilitator, and I run happy Makers for Z-arts. I love making, painting, creating and helping others do it too!

Yemi (Rhythm and Rhyme Club)

I’m Yemi Bolatiwa, and I’m a soul singer in Manchester. I have residencies in some of the city’s best loved venues, festivals around the UK, and I’ve featured on BBC Introducing. I run Rhythm and Rhyme Club at Z-arts, and I bring my love of music to share with all our young people!

Gill (Z-artists, Art Stars, Yoga Stars) – covering maternity for Janine

Hi, I’m Gill and I’ve been running creative sessions at Z-arts for 10 years now – wow! I’m currently doing Art Stars, Z-artists and now Yoga too. I love to take inspiration from the ideas and energy of young people to help shape our sessions together. Art makes children POWERFUL!

Nayna (Online: Art Stars)

Hi, I’m Nayna and I’m currently facilitating Art Stars Online. For 18 years I taught art and design up to GCSE level both in Botswana and in the UK. I decided to leave the teaching profession 2 years ago to become a freelance arts facilitator. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with those that attend my sessions, witnessing the joy and satisfaction they gain from making a piece of artwork

Charlotte (Teen Yoga)

Charlotte is currently doing Teen Yoga back in our building after teaching online during lockdown. Charlotte is a seasoned yoga teacher and has a lot of online content you can see on YouTube so you know what to expect in your class! Namaste, Charlotte

Natasha (Resident Dance Artist and twirly person)

Hi! I’m Natasha and my life is dancing. I have 2 small boys who are full of beans so I’m always on the go at home as well as at work. I’ve been running dance classes here for many years, you might have seen one of our famous dance showcases in our theatre which we are very proud of! I love dance so much that soon I will be a DOCTOR of dance, which is very exciting. I look forward to having you in my classes!