Encounters is led by Creative Director Ruth Ben-Tovim working with a team of freelance Creative Associates and specialists who come together to devise and deliver a wide range of socially and ecologically engaged projects with diverse partners reaching thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

A set of shared themes underpins all of our work together; Transformation, Invitation, Place, Identity, Responsibility, Gathering, Unknown, Expression, Edges. We feel strongly that now is the time for collaboration, for adding value, for joining forces.
We respond to Invitations. We respond to commission briefs creating activity in response to needs and outcomes identified by partners. We respond to whats calling us to act at this time of crisis and opportunity by self - initiating projects, and fundraising.

We feel strongly that now is the time for collaboration, for adding value, for joining forces. Please contact us if you are interested in working with us.

Explore the nine
Themes that
underpin our work...


We are a group of artists, facilitators, innovators, creative educators, cultural translators & change agents.  View our biographies, or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you : )

Sophy Banks – Board Member

Sophy has been a psychotherapist, engineer, computer trainer and footballer in her time. She was part of the startup of Transition Town Totnes and co-founded Transition Training.

Transition Blog | Email

Megan Beck – Creative Associate

Megan is an artist, designer and teacher initiating projects in the community to explore people’s relationship to place, the past and each other.

Email |Make Room Website

Ruth Ben-Tovim – Creative Director

Ruth is the Creative Director of Encounters. As a professional artist and consultant, she has used the transformational power of the arts to work with thousands of people over the last 20 years.

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter

Shelley Castle – Creative Associate

Shelley creates walks, films, paintings, installations and 3D pieces, motivated by a desire to explore the natural world and our relationship to it through a variety of lenses and collaborators.

Email | LinkedIn

Ruth Cross – Creative Associate

Ruth designs spaces & artworks to encourage diverse and active participation and creates performances where beautiful moments of collective sense-making take place.

Email | Website | Twitter

Anne-Marie Culhane – Creative Associate

Anne-Marie initiates, catalyses, designs and delivers creative and environmental arts projects, education, events and happenings and co-devised Encounters’ Patch of Ground strand of work.

Email | Website 

Natalia Eernstman – Creative Associate

​Natalia is a researcher, educator and artist. She performs in and directs site-specific community theatre.

Email | Website | LinkedIn

James Engwell – Creative Associate

James is a designer and digital strategist, innovating in multimedia and social networking to help build audiences, engage users and develop digital legacy.

Email | LinkedIn | Website | Twitter

Rebeh Skye Furze – Creative Associate

Social Ecology, Permaculture, and Holistic Science; love of food & organic growing. A particular interest in group process & facilitation, sense of place and our experience with the wild.


Liam Hurley – Creative Associate

Liam’s work is all about connection. He makes theatre with non-professional performers & writers – Often in unusual spaces & preferably with the young, the old (they have better stories : )


Anna Lodge – Communications

Committed to helping organisations deliver social media and communications to build dynamic and lasting relationships.

E-mail Twitter Linked-in Web-site

Emilio Mula – Creative Associate

Emilio combines creative multimedia design, filmmaking and animation with the exciting worlds of permaculture and education for a sustainable future.

Email | Website

Lucy Neal – Creative Associate

Lucy is an instigator, theatre maker & educator. Co-founder of LIFT, she is engaged with celebratory events which act as a catalyst for change. Co-author of MMM’s Sustainable Ability.

Email | Twitter

Clare Parker – Executive Producer and Board Member

Clare believes in the transformational power of the arts and has over 20 years’ experience as a dance artist, teacher and producer.

Email | Linkedin | Twitter

Jo Salter – Graphic Designer and Associate

Graphic designer, curator, teacher & artist working in a range of media. He has over 25 years experience of fine art practice.

Email | WebsiteLinkedIn

Sarah Scaife – Creative Associate

Sarah’s greatest assets are her personal skills: her intuitive creativity, her empathetic approach to problem solving and her ability to nurture confidence in others.

Email | Website

Jonny Sleeman – Web Master & Associate

Jonny is a digital strategist working with a range of online platforms to deliver engaging content.


Toni Spencer – Creative Associate

Toni works as a facilitator, educator, forager and artist, working with process, landscape and food to explore how we might meet the world more fully, in order to live more sustainably.

Email | LinkedIn

Bryony Tilsley – Admin and Associate

Bryony studied writing at Dartington College of Arts and Falmouth University and continues to write for performance.

Email | Dartmoor Skies


Ben Yeger – Creative Associate

Ben is the UK representative of Combatants for Peace and is a creative therapist, facilitator of personal and group process and creative dialogue, theatre director, film maker and change agent.