Festival Committee

Committee member for 2023

This years Festival committee members

Mary Huggins - Festival Chairman

Mary Huggins


Mary has been involved with Arts Alive on and off since its inception and became Chairman in 2015.  In her youth she was an enthusiastic member of amateur dramatic groups and has also taken part in singing groups, choral societies, book clubs and writing groups.  She is interested in all aspects of the arts and enjoys film, theatre, exhibitions – pretty much everything.  When she has time, she loves to read. She lives in Capel.

In 2022 she was shortlisted for the National Campaign for the Arts ‘Hearts for the Arts’ Award for ‘Best Arts Champion – Councillor’ – probably because of telling everyone she meets about Arts Alive!

Claudia Cartwright - Arts Officer at Mole Valley DC

Claudia Cartwright

Arts Development Officer, Mole Valley District Council

Claudia has been Arts Development Officer at Mole Valley District Council based in Dorking since 2018.  She has a passionate belief that engagement with the arts at any level is a human behaviour with the power to improve wellbeing and social connection. Before working at MVDC she studied History of Design at Brighton University, and has also worked in project management and planning.  

Claudia was shortlisted for ‘Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust’ at the National Campaign for the Arts ‘Hearts for the Arts’ Awards in 2021, for her work championing the Arts in Mole Valley and advocating for more investment in the arts at local authority level. In 2022 she won ‘Best Arts Project – Local Authority’ at the national ‘Hearts for the Arts’ Awards for her project ‘Intergenerational Connections’ which brought together children, elders, a large piano and an opera singer!

Bev Porter


Bev is a retired Accountant living in Ashtead and as well as keeping us all in hand on the committee, also prepares accounts and auditing for several local Guides, Rainbow and Brownie groups. His interests include DIY, gardening, cycling round Surrey, music, local history and walking Bonnie the Arts Alive dog (see below).

Barbara Christopher Dorking

Barbara Christopher

Barbara spent thirty years working in the education system with most of these being in South London. She now spends her life singing, and lives in Dorking. Barbara enjoys being in three local choirs but spends most of her week leading singing sessions in Day Centres and for Charity run groups. The sessions provide an hour of music and laughter for older members of the community but some are particularly for those who are cared for by family and friends while living with dementia. The power of music to restore and invigorate cannot be denied.


Ann Clark - Arts Alive Committee Member

Ann Clark

Ann lives in Leatherhead and has been organising and supporting events in the town for several years. She is a member of Show Choir and enjoys all the old musicals and many of the new. Using her Facebook page, LoveLeatherhead, Ann promotes local cultural and artistic events.


Maurice Homewood - Committee Member for Arts Alive

Maurice Homewood

Maurice Homewood has been a member of the Arts Alive committee ever since it was first formed in 1997 and chaired it for five years. His main interests are literature, creative writing and drama, and a lifelong love for the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. He lives in Brockham.


Moira McRae - Arts Alive Committee Member

Moira McRae

Moira represents Dorking and District Twinning Association on the Arts Alive Committee. During lockdown, Moira arranged for digital Arts Alive events from Dorking’s three twin towns: Gouvieux, Guglingen and Sinalunga. For the 2022 Arts Alive festival in addition to a digital performance from Gouvieux, Silence Please, a Sinalunga group of singers, performed live to a large audience at Mickleham Church.

Moira has a degree in English and American Literature, and she is a retired teacher and trainer. She speaks Italian.  Her Arts interests include live theatre and performance, Art exhibitions and courses in History of Art.


Bogdan Schiteanu - member of Arts Alive Committee

Bogdan Schiteanu

Whilst not on the committee anymore due to his many commitments, Bogdan is our official Arts Alive photographer.

Publishing photographs taken during lockdown on local Facebook groups, Bogdan gained a significant following, and since 2021 has published an annual Dorking Calendar.  He also posts and displays his photos at local Art exhibitions for all to browse and hopefully – enjoy.

For him, the pleasure is in sharing, inspiring and getting inspired.


Bonnie Porter - official Arts Alive mascot

Bonnie Porter

The official Arts Alive Dog

Bonnie lives with our Treasurer Bev in Ashtead, where she loves long walks and short naps.  

She often comes to the Launch event for petting and to check out the event lineup.  She is an Instagram influencer for Arts Alive, and is paid in doggie treats.