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Participant Observer to the board

Introduction

In 2021, Brighton Fringe ran an election to recruit a Participant Observer to the Board of Brighton Fringe, with the aim to aid in the ongoing mission to improve the transparency of the Brighton Fringe and ensure participant voices are heard. 

The position, currently held by Hattie Snooks, had a fixed one-year term which is now coming to the end. We’re re-opening the process for self-nominations, with the aim being to have the new Participant Observer in post in time for the March Board Meeting on 13 March 2023. The Participant Observer to the Board of Brighton Fringe will work alongside the Venue Manager Observer in bringing ideas and recommendations of the Participants and Venues of Brighton Fringe to the Board. This role is unpaid.

Hattie Snooks

Profile:
I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Brighton Fringe as the Participant Observer for the past year. As a participant myself, I brought my debut solo show The Geek Shall Inherit… to Brighton Fringe in 2020, 2021, and 2022 with Sweet Productions, to critical acclaim. I am also a member of Clap Back Club, who have taken part in Brighton Fringe every year since 2018. Clap Back Club were winners of the Brighton Fringe Audience Choice Award in 2018 and 2019, as well as FUSE International’s Best of Brighton Fringe Comedy Award in 2022. As a group, we regularly collaborate with fellow Brighton-based theatre collective Girl Code Theatre and through our community outreach initiative Home Safe Brighton, we have built strong links with Brighton and Hove City Council, as well as several other local services and charities.

Outside of Brighton Fringe, I have worked as a freelance social media and marketing manager in the music and theatre industry for the past eight years and I have over fifteen years experience as an artist, performer, and events promoter in Brighton and Hove. Over this time I have built strong relationships with both fellow performers and venues in different sections of the local arts scene, from music and poetry to cabaret, burlesque, comedy, and, of course, fringe theatre.

Motivation for becoming an observer to the board of Brighton Fringe:
It has been my honour and privilege to work alongside the rest of the Board, the Brighton Fringe team, and the Brighton Fringe community for this past year to originate the role of Participant Observer. I began my term excited at the prospect of participants having a seat at the table and together I believe we’ve made excellent progress with Brighton Fringe’s ongoing mission to improve the transparency of the Fringe and to ensure that participant voices are heard. I’m delighted with what’s been achieved so far and I would love to make further strides on that journey with everybody for another year. Having weathered a great deal of change over the past few years in terms of recovery from the effects of the COVID pandemic, as well as structural changes, Brighton Fringe is on the cusp of something different and exciting. It would mean the world to me to continue with my involvement on the Fringe Board as we welcome in a new era. Change brings both uncertainty and the opportunity for growth. I believe that now, more than ever, as a Board we must amplify the voices of participants, seek to bring our absolute best to the table, and keep striving for transparency, accountability, and, above all, community. I am thrilled at the prospect of what the future holds and I strongly believe that we need to work with passion, openness, and interdependence with everyone who is involved in Brighton Fringe to make it happen.

Sonia Aste

Profile:
Sonia Aste is a Spanish comedian who believes ‘Cultural differences are like Sangria, a mix that sometimes leaves a headache, but we always end up asking for more!’ An engineer, she started her career in the Silicon Valley, she worked in telecommunications and finance before going into comedy. Her show MADE IN SPAIN sold out for 2 years running at Brighton Fringe and 3 years at Edinburgh Fringe.

Motivation for becoming an observer to the board of Brighton Fringe:
I was an engineer for most of my professional life before going into comedy. As such I have a fresh view on what should and should not be happening.

I also have excellent observational and analytical skills, as part of my engineering background. Last but not least I adhere to the engineering and comedy motto: YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE THINGS BETTER.

Jonathan Brown

Profile:

Jonathan is Brighton-born and bred, and has been performing for 20 years locally, nationally and internationally.

He’s ready to offer his services, should the call come, but in the meantime, throws his support fully behind those who have been in role for the last year, especially as their motivations seem so in lock-step. 

Motivation for becoming an observer to the board of Brighton Fringe:
Keeping an eye out on Brighton Fringe practice on behalf of participants.

Timeline

  • Candidacy self-nominations open: Friday 6 January 2023
  • Candidacy self-nominations close: midday Friday 20 January 2023
  • Open Voting period: Friday 27 January – midday Friday 24 February 2023
  • Participant Observer announced: Wednesday 1 March 2023
  • March Board meeting: Monday 13 March 2023

Conditions of voting:

  • One vote per participant.
  • Participants from the current or previous editions of Brighton Fringe are eligible to vote.
  • A participant may vote for themselves.
  • The decision of the Brighton Fringe Board is final.
  • If the Board does not ratify the vote, the vote will be run again.

Conditions of becoming an observer on the Brighton Fringe Board:

  • The observer should have taken part in Brighton Fringe at least twice, and within the last five years.
  • The observer term is one year and runs from March-February. 
  • The observer can be re-elected and serve up to two consecutive terms (of up to one year) but cannot be re-elected for a third consecutive term. They can be elected for any number of terms within these parameters.

Responsibilities. The observer should:

  • Act in the interests of all participants.
  • Attend at least 50% of monthly venue manager meetings - two hours per month.
  • Attend all quarterly Board meetings – two hours quarterly, Monday or Thursday evenings in March, July, September and December.
  • Attend annual ‘Future of Brighton Fringe’ forum discussions, and annual participant forum discussions.
  • Ensure that at least two weeks prior to each Board meeting that they seek feedback/comment from other participants and have collected any points for raising on behalf of participants (Brighton Fringe staff will help with the administration of this process) and notify the Brighton Fringe CEO/Chair of any suggested additions to the subsequent Board meeting agenda.
  • Produce a board meeting report (min. 250 words) after each board meeting which will be published on the Fringe website and circulated to participants.
  • Co-Moderate the Brighton Fringe Venues and Participant Networking Group on Facebook.

If you have any questions, please email them to [email protected]

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