As Director of the award winning, national network for the arts and early childhood sectors, Ruth established Earlyarts in 2002, with a vision to embed excellent creative leadership in many schools and settings across the UK and the Middle East. To achieve this, Earlyarts works in collaboration with artists and educators to train around 1,000 early childhood professionals each year.
Ruth works as a trainer, consultant, author, speaker and thought leader with a specialist focus on how creative strategies can nurture our learning and leadership development.
In 2009, Ruth won the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Awards for her work in building Earlyarts to make real change happen through creative learning. Ruth also works closely with Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley (former Secretary of State for Education – 2001, and Minister for the Arts - 2002) on leadership development, and with Sir Ken Robinson, who are both Patrons of Earlyarts.
Through Earlyarts consultancy practice, Ruth has worked with major international clients such as Sharjah Museums Department, UCL Qatar, Independent Schools Association, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children (Dubai), INCERTS, Futurelab, Arts Council England, Arts Council Ireland, Milton Keynes Galleries, CAPE UK, Department of Education, Department of Culture, National Museums Liverpool, Youth Music, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Creative Partnerships, and many nurseries, schools and Children’s Centres. Ruth has also been a visiting lecturer at Huddersfield University, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of East Anglia, and Norwich School of Art and Design.
Renowned author, advisor and media commentator, Ruth helps strategic thinkers to make sense of complex agendas, bringing insight and debate to key issues in creative practice through her Blog. Ruth’s most recent publications can be read freely at: Creativity or Play? Why professionals should not have to choose (2012, The Guardian), Born Creative (2010, Demos, ISBN:978-1-906693-54-1); Cultural Entitlement in a Nutshell, (2010, Lulu, ISBN:978-1-4092-8587-8), Imagination for Life and Learning (2006, Arts Council England, ISBN: 0-7287-1191-5), International Creative Practice in Early Years Settings (2004, Arts Council England, ISBN: 0-7287-1063-3).
Ruth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA), a founding member of the Cultural Learning Alliance and the national Early Years Strategy Group for Youth Music, a member of the Social Enterprise Coalition, an associate member of Small Size, an accredited Relational Dynamics Coach, a member of the British Paragliding Team and a qualified Mountain Survival First Aider.
Educated to Honours degree level, Ruth is also a musician, an actor and enjoys contemporary dance. She lives in Yorkshire with her two children and spends any free time mountain biking, climbing and going cross-country on her paraglider. Competing at international level, Ruth is currently standing as 2nd British Paragliding Woman and 10th International Female Pilot, and understands the rigour, discipline and determination required to reach and sustain this level of leadership.