POW! festival founder and director steps down

Christina Clark-McQuaid (right) and Jan Ryan at the 2018 festival launch night

The founder and director of a Thanet festival which celebrates women artists is retiring from the role.

Christina Clark-McQuaid, who was raised in Manston, has spent her career championing the arts and women’s rights.

During her time working for Thanet council she proposed the UK’s first women’s war memorial – a bench dedicated to servicewomen located in Trinity Square, Margate.

In 2015 the Pie Factory Music founder then set her sights on the Power of Women festival.

Christina Clark-McQuaid

She said: “The idea for POW! came to me after I realised nothing was happening in Thanet to celebrate International Women’s Day, so I put out a call on Facebook asking anyone who was interested to come to a meeting.

“More than 20 women came to share ideas and suggestions which were captured and the room filled with a palpable vibrant energy.

“Since then POW! has and grown exponentially. I’ve met and worked with so many wonderful, creative women and their positive response has been hugely motivating.

“Now, I have decided to move on and hand over the reins to a new director.”

Jan Ryan

Instrumental to the success of the festival, which attracts thousands of people each year, is programme director Jan Ryan, who is also stepping down. 

An arts producer, Jan was instantly drawn to the role. She said: “I had been in Margate a few months when I responded to Christina’s call-out.

“Having produced festivals before moving to Thanet, working alongside a group of like-minded women was of real interest to me.

“Since then the festival has gone from strength to strength.

“I have loved working on the festival. It has introduced me to the amazing range of female artists living and working in Thanet.”

For more information on POW! visit powthanet.com.


    • Far from it! We have been successful in increasing our funds each year. The new Director will be expected to progress the fundraising strategy as part of their role.

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