Joanna Rowlands – Chair
Joanna is an experienced marketing and communications professional with broad range of in-house and agency experience. As Client Director at Uniform she is responsible for looking after a range of clients including Mitre, LFC, Unilever and Innocent. Before joining Uniform she was Marketing Services Director at Liverpool agency Liquid, where she was responsible for planning campaigns, writing marketing strategies and managing PR, social media and film projects. She started out working in the cultural sector and was previously Director of Marketing & Communications at the National Museums Liverpool (NML), where she oversaw a rebrand of the organisation and its eight venues. Before that she was Marketing Manager at FACT in Liverpool and at the North Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland. She has a BA in History of Art and Architecture from the University of East Anglia, an MA in Museums Studies from Newcastle University and a CIPR diploma from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Gordon Pennington is a former Royal Air Force Officer who served from 1972 to 1992 and later took up the role of RAF Careers Liaison Officer for the North West from 1992 to 2004. Since 1996 he has worked with St Helens RFC on a variety of Community Development projects and helped set up Saints Community Development Foundation. Over the years he has formulated and delivered a variety of community projects for people of all ages focused around sport, heritage, health and education – the ultimate aim being to support and make a difference across the St Helens community. He was lead on the Steering group for the CPP Heart of Glass and is a board member for the new entity.
Hannah Firth is Director of Visual Art and Programme at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. She is responsible for all aspects of the visual and live arts programme including exhibitions, residencies, events and cross-artform activity. Hannah is also Deputy Director where she works across all aspects of Chapter’s strategic and organisational development.
In 2017 Hannah is Curator / Project Director for Wales in Venice, presenting the critically acclaimed exhibition, ‘James Richards: Music for the gift’ at the 57th Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition was open to the public 15 May – 26 November 2017 and, through a new initiative with Scotland + Venice and Art Fund, is returning to Wales to be shown at Chapter in 2018 and then in Scotland in 2019. More information is available at www.experiencewalesinvenice.org
Hannah was also Curator for Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art in 2007 where she presented ‘And So It Goes’ an exhibition of works by Richard Deacon, Heather & Ivan Morison and Merlin James. She is on the steering committee for Cardiff Contemporary, the biennial festival of visual arts in Cardiff. Hannah is a Co-Director of May You Live In Interesting Times: Occasional Festival of Creative Technology; a programme partner for Diffusion: Cardiff’s International Festival of Photography; provides professional development support with a range of organisations and institutions and contributes writing for a number of publications.
Prior to working at Chapter Hannah was Curator and Acting Director at Stills in Edinburgh and Managing Editor for A-N Magazine.
Jean Tormey is a gallery learning programmer, currently working for Tate as a Learning Curator. Jean works on the core Early Years and Families programme of resources, workshops, large-scale events and projects at Tate Britain and Modern.
She previously worked on the final 2 years of the Big Lottery-funded Big and Small project (2009 – 2014), developing a strategy to attract local family audiences to Tate Britain. She holds a BA in the History of Art and Architecture from Trinity College Dublin (1999) and an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from Univeristy College Dublin (2004). Prior to working at Tate, Jean held posts working with schools, young people and adults at the Whitechapel Gallery (2011 – 2013), the Butler Gallery (Kilkenny, Ireland) (2008 – 2011), and Tate Liverpool (2006 – 2008) following a year as an intern in leading galleries and museums in New York.
A St Helens native, Tom Rowlands is Creative Producer at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool. His current work includes ‘Dementia Connect’, a collaborative R&D project developing novel culturally led interventions in Dementia Care, and ‘The Living Room of The Future’, an Internet of Things demonstrator for broadcast media.
Tom’s decade of experience in the digital creative sector spans event production, management, consulting and marketing, and digital consulting for multinationals. In recent years he has delivered data focussed innovation projects for Greater Manchester’s councils, a climate service with Moritz Stefaner and Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (Project Ukko), and creative technology festivals. On a 2014 Foreign Office mission to Beijing, Tom consulted the Chinese Government on their national open data plan, since then he has delivered talks to audiences in Europe and Asia. He brings broad technology industry and digital culture experience to the board, having delivered Art, Design, IoT and Data innovation programmes in Chile, China, Singapore and throughout the European Union.
Alongside work at FACT, Tom is developing a creative technology initiative straddling the intersection of grassroots innovation and inclusive development. Drawing on practice from participatory art and digital culture, its mission hones in on post-colonial societies and regions of developed countries excluded from economic growth. This initiative will develop inclusion focused creative technology and innovation projects, particularly where there is a pronounced opportunity to combine social innovation and technology to address underrepresentation in economic development.