Hannah Pillai, Taneesha Ahmed, Jude Wood, Grace Todd, Bethany Mitchell and Marco Peri
Hannah shows dedication and commitment to the Learning Team every day. She has single-handedly developed the Young Ambassador programme at the Attenborough Arts Centre, recruiting young people from across the city and providing them with high quality arts experiences. The Ambassadors have curated two exhibitions, hosted movie nights, taken trips to other venues and assisted with launch nights. Hannah has built great relationships with the young people and their parents and is committed to making the group as inclusive as possible. She goes above and beyond for the Learning Team and leads countless school tours, tailoring each one to the group and ensuring that they get the best possible experience.
The Tetley is a thriving cultural venue that engages audiences on its doorstep through animated programmes of participatory activity, and since starting in January, Taneesha has focussed on making the programmes more inclusive. She has been successful in engaging practitioners from less formal backgrounds to take up free training and development which had previously been popular amongst graduating arts students. Taneesha has also developed a project to make a collaborative film with schools in Leeds and Pakistan to imagine libraries of the future. Her creativity, sensitivity and commitment is clear in all the work she does, and she is an advocate for encouraging young people to develop their creativity no matter what barriers they face economically.
Jude has created a special project to engage young parents and their children in the visual arts in the hard to reach localities of upper Denbigh and Rhyl. She worked with Family Link Officers to identify the families who are involved and used arts of various mediums to introduce pre-school children to different creative experiences. The project encouraged team work, confidence building, and problem solving and helped bond the parents and children as the children transitioned into primary school. Jude showed patience, understanding, humour and dedication in making sure that those on the edges of society have the opportunity to participate in visual arts activity and gain all the positive outcomes that come with it.
Throughout her career, Grace has worked intensely with community groups to improve economic, physical and social well-being through learning programmes at the National Museum, Cardiff. Her dedication has been epitomised through her work with homeless charity, the Wallich, to deliver an exhibition of contemporary art called ‘Who Decides’. Service users worked on every aspect of the exhibition, have become advocates for contemporary art and have grown in confidence. Members of the group now volunteer at the Museum and mentor new volunteers which has helped them learn transferable skills which can lead to employment opportunities. Through this programme, Grace has created institutional change, which is now creating a wider impact on the sector as she actively shares her learning and experience with others.
Bethany works as an artist, educator, coordinator and manager and joined the team at the MK Gallery in 2015 bringing a wealth of enthusiasm and expert knowledge. Her innovative thinking has influenced many programmes at the Gallery and her ability to bridge all kinds of social gaps between artists and audiences makes her a highly valued member of the team. In 2018, Bethany became Curator of Inclusion at the Gallery and launched a new Family Programme for audiences with complex needs, which breaks down barriers to people connecting with visual arts.
Marco is an art historian, museum educator and researcher. He works in a freelance capacity to train art professionals on how to create a better connection between the public and museum and art collections. He designs and delivers resources such as performative guided tours and the involvement of imaginative resources. Marco has worked in collaboration with a number of institutions including the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Palazzo Grassi in Venice and innovAction Cult in Milan.