Cultural specialist Lee Corner has been appointed as the new chair of Culture Company, the organisation set up to deliver the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 programme. With a long track record of working in the arts and third sector, Lee will take over from Rosie Millard OBE, who stepped down formally today.
Lee will have a key role in driving forward the strategic vision of Culture Company, as it seeks to continue as part of wider legacy plans following the outstanding success of Hull’s UK City of Culture year. Working closely with the recently appointed creative director Katy Fuller and executive director Emma Morris, one of Lee’s first tasks will be to recruit new Board members for the organisation.
Lee Corner commented, “What Hull has done with UK City of Culture has exceeded everyone’s expectations, which is something to be immensely proud of. The opportunity to chair the Board of Hull 2017 as a new company building on the best of 2017, cementing Hull’s reputation as a centre for culture and creativity, and growing an agency specialising in culture and cities is irresistible.
“I see my role as being an inspiring and articulate leader, who will provide the support that the Creative Director, Executive Director and the team at Hull 2017 need to take forward the vision of a significant arts company based in the city.”
Lee’s substantial expertise includes the development of organisations both large and small across the UK and internationally, leading board development and review workshops, plus taking up voluntary positions including chair of The Media Centre and director of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills.
She has also been a member of the Creative Industries Advisory Panel at the British Council and is currently a member of the Arts Council’s North Area Council.
Internationally, Lee has been an advisor to the Performing Arts Environment Forum in Japan for over 10 years; designed and delivered the first Professional Diploma in Creative Entrepreneurship in Singapore; designed and delivered the Creative Future School for Creative Entrepreneurs in India; supported Nigeria’s creative entrepreneurs and established ‘survival skills’ for artists in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
For the British Council, Lee has worked on development programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa, Oman, Qatar and Russia.
Since 2013 Lee has designed and delivered creative management and professional practice courses for students in the Department of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield.
Lee has established a close relationship with Hull over the years, having worked with Hull 2017, Hull Truck Theatre, Freedom Festival, Middle Child and Hull Time Based Arts.
Rosie Millard OBE said, “I have had the most incredible time as chair of Hull 2017, a personally life-changing experience I will never forget. Lee has unparalleled experience of working in the arts and is a strong advocate for artists and cultural organisations. As the new chair she is going to be a powerful asset for the company and for the city. It is important for Hull 2017 and for the city to have new energy and ideas.”
Hull City Council leader, Councillor Stephen Brady said, “I would like to offer a very warm welcome and my congratulations to Lee on her appointment as the new chair of Hull 2017. Her skills and expertise will be an invaluable resource to the Culture Company and the city as we continue to build on Hull’s artistic and cultural reputation.
“Her outstanding track record working in arts and the third sector means she is ideally placed to help move Hull forward in its cultural journey. I look forward to working with Lee to ensure we continue to create a positive and lasting legacy for the people of Hull.”