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Welcoming Our New Board Members

The North East Culture Partnership is pleased to welcome their newest board members, Hannabiell Sanders, Jill Cole and Iain Watson.

Originally from New Jersey, Hannabiell Sanders is a trombone player and percussionist who moved to Newcastle to complete a masters and PhD in Music Performance at Newcastle University. Her PhD focussed on building a community through music, art and culture. In 2016, Hannabiell created and organised Harambee Pasadia, a now annual festival in the North East which celebrates Afro fusion arts.

Hannabiell’s interests lie in collaboration, finding new ways for artists to work together and sharing best practice. She hopes that, through her work, she will revolutionise how the arts and culture sector communicates and works together.

Hannabiell first heard of the NECP through Thinking International 2019, where she was invited to speak. She was attracted to the event, and the NECP as a whole, due to its intentions of bringing people together by thinking about how we work together internationally.

Hannabiell applied to become an NECP board member as she saw it as an opportunity to come together with leaders and change-makers, to shape culture in the North East. She believes that she can add a different perspective to the board and is excited to work with diverse communities and broker opportunities to invest in arts and heritage.

Jill Cole has been working in the arts and culture sector since 1997. Her career has been varied, with roles including the manager of a youth theatre, a member of the arts development team for Durham County Council and Relationship Manager for Theatre for Arts Council. Currently, Jill works as Director of Northern Heartlands, a Great Place Scheme which engages the local County Durham community in arts and heritage activities and uses said activity to influence decisions or policies which affect the local community.

Jill has been aware of the NECP for quite some time and has particularly been interested in the Case for Culture. She appreciates the involvement of the local authorities to champion culture. She believes that, from her past experience, arts and culture have previously been considered a lesser priority, however is pleased to see that there is a new role for, and importance placed on, culture within the North East. She believes that this is in part down to the NECP’s pioneering of culture; this is partly why she applied to become a board member. Jill also applied to become a board member so that she could help to represent the voice of County Durham, as she believes that the North East’s rural voice should be heard as much as the urban voice.

Jill is looking forward to helping the NECP deliver against its Case For Culture, but also to ensure that culture has a voice around other partnership boards as well. She believes that arts and culture have much to contribute to other agendas also, such as health and wellbeing, tourism and enterprise.

Iain Watson has held his post as Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums since 2010. In this role he has successfully led TWAM for 9 years in a period of austerity and significant change consolidating the organisation’s position as one of the country’s leading museum and archive services and securing significant external funding to support the organisation whilst greatly increasing the proportion of earned and contributed income though the initiation of a Museum Rapid Enterprise Assessment.

Iain teaches on postgraduate courses at Newcastle and Durham universities and has written and lectured extensively in the UK and internationally on museums and their future, including recent lectures in Finland, Brazil, Turkey, Italy and Hungary.

Iain is excited to take up his post as board member for the NECP, in order to benefit from national and international exchange, and to contribute to the development of the wider cultural sector.

Hannabiell, Jill and Iain will take up their positions at the October 17th Board Meeting.

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