Gemma Connell is the Artistic Director of The Artifact, a post-hip-hop dance company whose strands of work aim to champion the role of creativity in people’s lives. The company’s choreographic work aims to tell stories that have been mis-told throughout history whilst outreach programmes use dance and spoken word as art therapy; working with stroke survivors, young people with learning disabilities, women and children recovering from domestic abuse. Gemma is an alumna of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries (previously DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries) with her placement as Trainee Producer (MIF Creative) at Manchester International Festival taking place from 2010-2011. Since then, she has worked with Rosie Kay Dance Company, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, and Fun Palaces as a freelance dance artist, and on a variety of Olympic projects, including as a Stage Manager for Piccadilly Circus Circus, part of the Mayor of London’s Surprises in 2012, and held the position of Youth and Education Coordinator at Pavilion Dance South West from 2012-2014. Gemma’s most recent venture comes in the form of a doctorate, as a PhD Candidate at The University of Surrey, researching Hip Hop Dance as a response to gender and sexuality based trauma since the 1970s.