All change please, all change


Posted on: September 20, 2019

Magpie Dance appoint new Director roles

Following Thalie Martini’s departure as Chief Executive of Magpie Dance over the summer, the Bromley-based charity took external advice making some changes to the management structure.

Mark Dempsey, Magpie Dance Chairman, said:

“We [the board] decided that the most effective way of taking the company forward would be to appoint an Artistic Director and an Executive Director.

We were delighted to ask Laura Graham to take on the Executive Director role.  As our current General Manager, Laura thoroughly deserves this recognition for her long-standing commitment and her ability to plan, organise and manage our business – and, especially, our dancers.

We advertised the Artistic Director role externally.  The appointment involved a structural change with the new role becoming a full time employee of Magpie Dance and – like Laura – taking on some of the functions previously undertaken by Thalie.   We are delighted to appoint Alison Ferrao, who was very clearly the best candidate, not least given her vision for the future and her recent exceptional work on our artistic plan.

It is great to be able to recognise the talent we have available in this way. It gives us a sound platform for the next stage of the Magpie Dance journey, especially as we have also worked hard to establish a sound financial base for the next two to three years.

I am sure that Alison and Laura are going to be a great leadership team and will take Magpie Dance into some new and exciting places”.

Laura and Alison took up their roles on Monday 9 September.

Laura Graham, Executive Director said: “Having worked for Magpie Dance as General Manager for the past 12 years, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead it through the next phase of its development with Alison in post as Artistic Director. It’s a very exciting and challenging time to work here. I look forward to seeing the development for us an organisation as well as our participants with the new opportunities and partnerships we have already secured”.

Alison Ferrao, Artistic Director said: “Never have I felt more impassioned to deliver an artistic vision to enable people with learning disabilities to reach their full personal, social and artistic potential through dance. This is a great opportunity for us all”.

We wish them both every success for the future and with 2020 celebrating 35 years of Magpie Dance, we look forward to what the year brings.