Better Together #4: Governance, governance….How to love it and why it’s important

Thursday 15 February, 1-2pm
Online, via Zoom
Click here to book

Bi-monthly Better Together sessions take place online and offer an opportunity for change makers in the East Midlands, UK to connect. We particularly encourage attendance from directors, trustees and programme leads and welcome participants to share with the group current challenges that their organisation is facing, helping establish a supportive space for shared learning and development. Sessions last only 1-hour and proritise time for open discussion.

Each session is framed by a different urgent topic that is relevant to both the region and wider sector. For Better Together #4: Governance, governance….How to love it and why it’s important we will be joined by Andrea Nixon of People Make It Work.

Finding the ‘right’ volunteer Trustees….Board meetings which are helpful not harmful….keeping on top of reporting….how to engage individuals, particularly in relation to funding…

It has never been easy to recruit and keep a perfect Board, but it can seem even tougher at present, particularly when many arts organisations feel as if they have been in crisis mode since Covid.  This session will discuss:

What’s working and not working at the moment?


How do we make change happen?

Who can help?

We’ll look in particular at how to develop your board (Skills, recruitment, training, ongoing reviews) and ways of making the relationship between board and executive blossom.

People Make It Work was established by Richard Watts over 20 years ago to support organisational development for cultural organisations.  Its programmes include change management, employee engagement, leadership development, fundraising, facilitation and training, including its highly regarded Change Creation programme.  People Make It Work has worked with all scales of arts companies, all over the country, helping organisations define their ideas and needs, expand their sense of what is possible, and create the conditions and culture to support transformation.  People Make It Work is an alliance of over 50 experienced arts consultants, with a collective belief in the ‘power in the room’ of the people who work in the sector, and their knowledge, energy and interest to make change happen.  People Make It Work offers a wide range of free support, toolkits and programmes through its online portal here.

Andrea Nixon is a highly experienced executive director and cultural consultant with a significant track record in change management, strategic place development, partnership programming, business development and fundraising. As an independent consultant, and with Counterculture LLP, Amion and People Make It Work consultancies, she works with a range of clients on strategic cultural planning, governance and placemaking, including the Old Vic Theatre London, The Box Plymouth, English National Ballet, MIMA, Turner Contemporary, Arts Council England, Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust, Punchdrunk Engagement, Hull Truck Theatre, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, the Donmar Warehouse and National Trust Wales.  She has developed cultural strategies for places ranging from Salisbury to Birkenhead and worked with a number of museums, galleries and collections in depth on their vision and sustainable operations, including National Museums Liverpool, National Museum Wales, Turner Contemporary, Kettle’s Yard, Arnolfini Gallery and the Arts Council Collection.

Prior to establishing her own consultancy in 2018, Andrea worked as Executive Director of Tate Liverpool from 2006, where she led the management and continued development of the gallery in the run up to and delivery of European Capital of Culture in 2008.  As well as creating a new approach to popular programming, Andrea transformed the business model for the gallery and worked with a range of partners on the Liverpool Waterfront to create a range of outdoor artworks, the first Creative Apprenticeship programme in the country, and to establish the Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership.  Prior to moving to Liverpool, Andrea was Director of Development for the Tate in London from 1998 to 2006, playing a key role in the creation of both Tate Modern and Tate Britain.  Through work with the Plus Tate network she has undertaken consultancies for the British Council for groups of museums in Mexico City, Malta and Beijing.

Andrea has national board experience at Arts Council North, the Crafts Council, The Audience Agency and chaired the V&A Dundee Advisory Council between 2015 and 2020.  She is currently Chair of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres and a Trustee of Harewood House Trust; she was awarded the MBE for services to the arts in 2019.

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