Meet Our New Directors

Introducing Festival of Thrift’s new Directors 

A lot has happened in the world of #ThriftFest over the last few months and we feel like our feet haven’t touched the ground!

However, now is the time to share and celebrate the news of our new creative directors.  Tanya Steinhauser and Dominic Somers who share the role and lead the festival in its creative development. 

We are delighted to have them on board, here are a few words from them both…

Tanya Steinhauser

Festival of Thrift brings everything together that I love and care about: celebrating creative ways to live more sustainably and to look after the planet.

It is such a privilege to work with a team of fellow Thrift devotees and to be able to bring together communities, artists, thinkers, craftspeople, businesses and dedicated enthusiasts to share skills and inspire one another. I am hugely encouraged by the big ideas and the thinkers and developers working on some of the large-scale innovations and projects that we need to tackle the climate crisis and at the same time I am passionate for us all to discover, rethink, relearn and practice some of the old and new ways that will allow us to live within the means of our planet.

Looking up at the sky with artist Lorna Rees of Gobbledegook and contemplating the mutability of clouds, as well as the mutability of humanity as part of her work Cloudscapes was a moving (and incredibly relaxing) experience at the 10th anniversary of Festival of Thrift.

I love spending time out of doors, whether that’s growing flowers, fruit and salads (the magic of a plant emerging from a tiny seed, never ceases to amaze me!), or the joys of foraging and connecting with the seasons when making a cordial or other treats or immersing myself into the North Sea on our doorstep.

CloudScapes at Festival of Thrift in 2022

Dominic Somers

I believe in creating experiences that interrupt people’s every day with joy, meaning and shared connections. What I love about Festival of Thrift is the ambition to make a difference in people’s lives, communities and the wider world. I am joining the Thrift family as we move into an exciting new urban chapter in Billingham. My shared creative director role is about dreaming hard, finding innovative ways to communicate and practice sustainability and navigating new opportunities.

Thrifting is in my blood, I grew up in a single-parent family and learnt from my amazing mum the magical opportunities of charity shop bargains, recycling old stuff into income and how to love vintage. Jumble sales were my secret weapon to upcycle all my youth culture needs to new heights.

My favourite Thrift memory is seeing the Ackroyd & Harvey installation ‘On the Shore (Version 2)’ displayed at Kirkleatham Museum. Seeing Ben Okri’s powerful words ‘Can’t You Hear The Future Weeping? Our Love Must Save The World’ stencilled into a large-scale seedling grass banner was beautiful and moving.

Wandering into nature is a passion that feeds my soul and reminds me that real experiences are always the best to enrich our lives. The Tees Valley is rich in diverse landscapes, heritage and innovations, offering the perfect home to the national festival of sustainable living.

On the Shore Version 2 by Ackroyd and Harvey

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