Jessica Harris, Settle Stories

Former estate agent Jessica Harris swapped property for storytelling and moved to the Dales for her first job in the arts.

Now working for Settle Stories, Jessica is inspired by the innovative catalogue of events that the arts and heritage charity runs year-round.

Jessica said: “I’ve always wanted to work in the arts sector. The fact I can do it here in Yorkshire is such a bonus to me.”

Settle Stories run storytelling performances, a film club, outreach programmes and much more throughout the year. The aim is to get people from every background involved in the arts and to bring high quality artists to this rural location.

Jessica commented: “After university it seemed as if everyone was moving down to London and that that was my only option. I really didn’t want to leave Yorkshire. I felt that the arts should be just as accessible here as anywhere else. So, when I came across the role with Settle Stories it was perfect.”

Whilst studying drama at Manchester University, Jessica realised her passion for community arts projects. As sales and communications officer for Settle Stories, she hopes to make more people aware of what is on offer locally.

Jessica received a grant from Great Place: Lakes and Dales seedfund to create a guide on rural arts. She will be working alongside different organisations and attending industry conferences to learn more about PR, arts management and engaging audiences.

Jessica said: “It instantly surprised me how much was available here in the Lakes and Dales and I was shocked that I wasn’t aware of it before. I want to create this guide to inform people nationally about rural arts, and to help local organisations get the word out about what they do.”

Jessica Harris