Claire Ackroyd, Anarupa Roy, Zena Brackennbury, The Multi-Sensory Art Project, Nick Kidd, Gemma Smith, Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn and Sally Bourner
Marsh Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual Arts Engagement
- Claire Ackroyd – Learning and Outreach Manager, Bradford District Museums and Galleries
Claire has revolutionised the way a generation of children and families in Bradford have been able to enjoy their local museums and galleries. She has worked in the sector for almost 40 years and has been instrumental in numerous projects and initiatives that have inspired, engaged and involved hundreds of thousands of children. Claire has always placed communities at the heart of her work and has championefd making the museums and galleries in Bradford as child friendly as possible by creating spaces which are co-designed with children and families. She has worked collaboratively with a range of colleagues and helped to set up the freelance team in the area, which draws from practicing artists in the region to ensure that arts experiences continue to run. Claire has also played a role in negotiating with local authorities to secure much needed funding. She has dedicated her career to initiating, supporting and championing arts education and the role that museums and galleries play in enriching the lives of children.
Marsh Award for International Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement
- Anarupa Roy – Manager/Founder, Katktha Puppet Arts, India
Anarupa has directed over 15 puppet shows for children and adults that have toured across Europe, Japan and South Asia. A major aspect of her work is using puppets for psychosocial interventions in areas of conflict and to raise awareness about HIV and gender issues in some countries. She uses visual aids and performances to work across tribal divides in war zones which supports affected children to speak about their experiences and create calls to action to stop the violence. Anarupa has also used visual interventions such as mask making to investigate archetypes of power, status and cycles of violence. She has been working tirelessly in areas where government funding for the arts is non-existent and in spaces where art is very undervalued. Anarupa is the coal face of what good engagement with creativity and visual mediums can do and this Award will help to legitimise and raise the profile of her work.
Marsh Awards for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement
- Zena Brackenbury – Volunteer, Wysing Arts Centre
Zena joined Wysing as a volunteer in 2011 and her long-standing commitment and contributions have allowed creative arts activities to make a positive difference to the lives of young people. She has never missed a commitment to supporting arts activities, even when the circumstances have been challenging, and she is open and adaptable to working with different members of staff. Zena’s reliable support has allowed staff to explore a range of creative arts activities and she has been willing to get involved no matter how unconventional the activity may seem. She has gone above and beyond in advocating for the work of young people and the important part that creative arts activities can play in their wellbeing.
- The Multi-Sensory Art Project, Roche Court Educational Trust
This project, run by three freelance artists, provides immersive, interactive experiences of art for children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties. The project has delivered creative opportunities to those who would otherwise be unable to access modern and contemporary sculpture. The project’s innovative approach to sensory learning has resulted in unique experiences for participants, allowing them to discover art by feeling, smelling, hearing and even ‘becoming’ the sculptures through the use of props and costumes. The project is continually developing, delivering a trip to the woods and creating a bank of digital resources for visitors to ensure that the sculptures at Roche Court are accessible to all.
- Nick Kidd – Participation Producer, Crafts Council
Nick leads on work with families and communities at the Crafts Council gallery which reopened after 15 years of closure in 2021. He has built a diverse network of facilitators who deliver innovative, open-ended and playful workshops with family audiences, including the Saturday Craft Club which is extremely well-attended. Nick has built strong relationships with priority audiences in the community, particularly those who would not usually engage with arts activities. He has also challenged the lack of representation for LGBTQ+ people in Craft Council’s work, leading on a consultation and running workshops to raise awareness of this issue. Nick has the potential to be a change maker in gallery learning and participation and does everything he can to ensure that all his participants feel at home.
- Gemma Smith – Head of Creative Education, Take A Part
Gemma has been a pioneer for engagement in visual arts in her community since she joined Take A Part in 2009. She initiated Crazy Glue, an after school arts club, which gives vulnerable children the chance to experience art where they may not usually get to do so. Gemma also contributed establishing Magic House, a project which encourages children to learn to film, edit and tell their own community and cultural stories while supporting education in these mediums. She also runs a multi-school teacher and artist in residence programme in the area to test teaching approaches for the arts to ensure that children receive a well-rounded arts education. Gemma is a champion of non-gallery based arts engagement and her work is a model for other colleagues in the sector.
- Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn – Senior Education Officer, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre
Louise has worked in arts education for over 26 years and has a passion for generating creative ideas, improving wellbeing through the arts and encouraging creativity for all. Throughout her career she has delivered projects to support the enthusiasm and potential of young people in the arts, particularly those who would not usually have the opportunity to engage in the arts. She mentors graduates, encourages young people to pursue careers in the arts and is the creative and pastoral lead for the Youth Advisory Panel at Llantarnam Grange. Louise is a passionate advocate for arts and health projects, instigating a weekly art class for young people living with dementia and working with patients on mental health wards to name but a few. She recognised during the pandemic that the arts should be offered as a vehicle to improve mental health and wellbeing and worked hard to maintain a programme of activities. Louise is now investigating the effectiveness of the arts in recovery from long Covid and is consistently developing the arts opportunities in her local area.
- Sally Bourner – Project and Engagement Coordinator, Fabrica
Sally has been involved with Fabrica for over 6 years delivering high quality engagement activities with targeted audiences. She developed a specialist project, Woven by Us, which uses textiles to deliver support for older people experiencing loneliness and low mental health. In response to the pandemic, Sally went above and beyond to continue delivering high-quality support to her participants, keeping in regular contact with them and encouraging them to focus on creative activities rather than health or functionary concerns. She designed bespoke creative packs for them, with sensory materials and accessible tools, which were delivered to them directly. Sally is still in the early stages of her career and is open to learning as much as possible to develop her skills and knowledge.