Marsh Awards 2022

The Marsh Awards for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement celebrate the hard work and dedication of colleagues working within visual arts participation and engagement. 

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of those working in learning, participation and engagement within visual arts contexts in the UK and internationally. It celebrates the work of individuals and groups working in freelance, salaried and voluntary roles, who have brought the benefits of engaging in the arts to communities in 2021-22. 

This year, Engage and the Marsh Charitable Trust refreshed the name of the award to celebrate the diverse practice taking place across a wide range of contexts.

2022 has continued to be a time of difficulty for those working in the arts, following the global pandemic and current cost of living crisis. The Awards offer winners £500 in professional development support in addition to recognition for their work.

This year seven individuals received awards and one team of three. The recipients are: 

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Claire Ackroyd 
  • Marsh Award for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement (International): Anurupa Roy
  • Marsh Awards for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement (UK):
    • Becky Churchill, Emma Kerr and Julieann Worrall Hood
    • Gemma Smith
    • Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn
    • Nick Kidd
    • Sally Bourner
    • Zena Brackenbury

Find out about each winner below.

The Awards were presented online by Professor Rod Bugg, Ambassador for the Marsh Charitable Trust. Winners were invited to produce a video to advertise their success in winning the award, but also to give as much coverage as possible to the work that they have been doing. Winning a Marsh Award is a boost in confidence and shines a light on the hard work of individuals and arts organisations. 

Jane Sillis Director of Engage, said:  

“The Marsh Awards for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work of colleagues in the visual arts sector. These are challenging times for the those working in the cultural sector. Engage’s partnership with the Marsh Charitable Trust and their generous support allows us to acknowledge the dedication, creativity and resilience of colleagues in the visual arts.” 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Claire Ackroyd, Learning & Outreach Manager, Bradford District Museums and Galleries, Bradford 

After training at Bingley College in 1979 Claire became creative arts teacher at Heaton Middle School. Following a secondment to Bradford Galleries & Museums, she joined Cartwright Hall as Gallery Teacher in 1984.

Claire’s post was funded by the LEA so as well as teaching in the gallery there were other opportunities; in 1996 she established an Artists in Schools Programme; in 1999 she jointly created a CD Rom resource for teachers – Art Connections – shortlisted for a Gulbenkian Award for Innovative Education; and in 1999 In the Picture was the first exhibition for young children and families. By 2001 Claire was Bradford’s Art & Design Adviser running teacher networks, working with QCA, piloting Arts Award, Arts Mark, developing Schools Linking, and was also a member of Engage.   

Engage has been an important part of the journey. In the early days supporting her as Area Rep, then as a Trustee and Vice Chair, helping put Bradford on the national stage. 

In 2004 as Learning & Outreach Manager at Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, the Connect redisplay transformed Cartwright Hall, with new acquisitions, a group of dedicated Young Ambassador’s central to the community consultation and thematic galleries People, Place and Imagination. 

In 2012 with a smaller team, they focused on creating a sustainable schools offer with a dedicated freelancer artist / educator team. In 2016, the in-house child-centered schools offer, The Art & Science of Noticing was shortlisted for a Museums & Heritage Award. and in the same year they joined the DfE ACE Museums and Schools Programme.

“Many special people and partners have been part of my Bradford Journey keeping our work with children, families and young people at Bradford District Museums and Galleries fresh, creative and relevant. You can really see this in galleries like ‘Jadughor: The Magic Room’ at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.

– Claire Ackroyd 

Marsh Award for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement (International)

Anurupa Roy, Founder and Managing Trustee of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, Delhi, India

Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet theatre director and puppet designer. She is the Founder and Managing Trustee of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, a puppet theatre group based in Delhi, India since 1998. Anurupa uses puppets to create visual narratives, works with communities using puppets to represent their own stories; this includes conflict zones like Kashmir.  

She is committed to the training of a future generation of professional puppeteers and facilitates regular workshops, organises masterclasess and in 2018 co-founded the Foundation Program the first professional puppet training program in India, under the ages of UNIMA, the puppeteers’ union. 

She has a Diploma in Puppet theatre from DI (Dramatiska Institutet for Film, TV, Drama and Radio) at The University of Stockholm, SWEDEN and has been trained in traditional glove puppetry, from La Scoula Della Guaratelle (School of Traditional Glove puppetry) in Naples , ITALY under Bruno Leone in 2002.

She has been a Researcher in Residence, 2011, Deutches Forum DFP in Bochum, Germany and at Institute International de la Marionette Charleville-Mezeires in France. She has been a Pro Helvetia Artists at Residence at Rote Fabrik in Zurich and guest faculty at World Arts and Cultures at UCLA in Los Angeles, USA. She is a CLORE Chevening Fellow for the year 2022-23.

She has directed performances for Katkatha, TIE Company National School of Drama and Jana Natya Manch.

She is a recipient of the Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva Puraskar 2007 National award for contribution to puppet theatre from the Ministry of Culture. She is currently the trustee of UNIMA India, the Indian chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionette and a part of the UNIMA International training commission.

Marsh Awards for Excellence in Visual Arts Engagement (UK):

Group Award

Becky Churchill, Emma Kerr and Julieann Worrall Hood, the Multi Sensory Art Project, Roche Court Educational Trust

For 10 years the dedicated team on the Multi Sensory Art Project has been creating immersive installations and sensory objects for those with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). The project was founded by artist Becky Churchill and developed into a partnership with Roche Court Educational Trust (RCET), an arts education charity based at the New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park near Salisbury in Wiltshire. 

The core team collaborators are freelance artist-educators Becky Churchill, Emma Kerr and Julieann Worrall Hood. 

In a varied and eclectic career, project founder Becky Churchill trained as a jeweller and sculptor, worked as a playworker in east London for ten years, trained as a pyrotechnican and toured with theatre arts collective Blagart. She also founded Escrapology, an arts collective with a punk ethic that used found and recycled materials to create large scale play and public installations. Since the 2000s she has taught in schools and become a trauma mentor.  

Emma Kerr trained as a sculptor and began the project’s partnership with Roche Court Educational Trust when she was in post as Head of Education there (2012-2017). In 2016 she received the Marsh Award for Excellence in Gallery Education and the Betty Williams Award from South Wilts Mencap for an outstanding commitment to their members. Emma continued as a key team member, in addition to leading projects with Wessex Archaeology, Salisbury Museum, Wessex Museums, Salisbury City Council and Poole Food Bank.  

Sculptor and theatre designer Julieann Worrall Hood has devised and led projects in schools, museums, galleries and communities for over 30 years. Working across media and disciplines, she has also created commissioned and collaborative artworks for Chanel, Conran and Coldplay, plus artist-in-residence posts in Kerala (India), Santarem (Portugal) and at the V&A (London). Since 2020 she has been exploring the sensory possibilities of soundscapes and film, to support MSAP into blended, multi-sensory forms of engagement. 

In 2022 the team fulfilled a long-held ambition to take a group of young people with PMLD out into the woods, to experience and participate in a sensory story immersed in nature.  

Zena Brackenbury, Young People’s Programme Volunteer, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge 

Zena’s experiences as a teacher and traveller led to her connection with Wysing Arts Centre, just outside Cambridge, where she works as a volunteer. 

She taught full-time in primary and secondary schools until 2011, after which she pursued her interests in creative arts and travel with great purpose. These two pursuits combined and have resulted in annual volunteer Conservation & Education projects in Namibia, Uganda, the Galapagos, Ecuador and Costa Rica. The projects invariably threw up surprising opportunities to develop Zena’s skills, resources and confidence in managing the unexpected. For example, out of the blue she was invited to produce three 3m x 3m murals in a newly established medical clinic for a community of indigenous San people in a very remote location in Namibia, with very limited resources available. Again, in an isolated mountainous region of Uganda she found herself setting up and delivering an entirely new Environmental Science Syllabus for the 3 local schools. There were few standard facilities such as books, paper, art & craft materials so it was necessary to improvise with drama, puppets and singing. 

At home, wishing to keep her daily education and arts interests alive, she sought out opportunities for volunteering locally and joined the team of a local museum to deliver schools education and art workshops. Concurrently, Zena joined Wysing Arts Centre helping out in a variety of different roles. This included reception, data input, assisting residency artists in their work, organising resources and supporting exhibition events. During the last 4-5 years she has been largely involved in the delivery of Wysing’s wide-ranging education programme. 

Sally Bourner, Project and Engagement Coordinator, Fabrica, Brighton 

Sally Bourner has worked in arts education since 2015 when she started teaching fashion and textiles to young people who weren’t accessing mainstream education. Sally originally trained as a costume maker at the Arts University Bournemouth and later went on to study on the Inclusive Arts Practice MA at the University of Brighton. 

Today Sally works at Fabrica as the Project and Engagement Coordinator and facilitator of Woven By Us – a social prescribing project for people isolated by complex health conditions and in partnership with a local NHS GP surgery. As project and engagement coordinator, Sally works on the development and delivery of projects that support improved mental health and wellbeing, social connections and community resilience through supportive, creative environments. 

In the other half of her week, Sally works as the Community Artist and Project Manager at ONCA where she founded Dresscue – an inclusive, community sewing space for people to learn to make, mend and upcycle, discover new interests, learn new skills and connect with people. In this role she recently led on their NHS Wellbeing project, supporting 591 NHS staff across 10 hospital sites in Sussex to engage in creative activities, providing opportunities to decompress after stresses faced over the last few years of the pandemic and connect with colleagues. 

From 2019-21 Sally also worked at Project Art Works as Gallery Coordinator and Associate Artist and has worked across various arts organisations in the Southeast in a freelance capacity – these roles have hugely contributed to her professional development as both a facilitator and project manager. Sally is really delighted to have been selected for the Marsh award and plans to use the opportunity to visit and learn from more organisations with different creative engagement and learning models. 

Nick Kidd, Participation Producer, Crafts Council, London 

Nick Kidd is currently the participation producer at the Crafts Council, the national charity for craft and delivers a wide-ranging and impactful programme of activity to support contemporary craft in the UK.  

Nick works with a wide range of artists and family and adult audiences to deliver a sensitive and person-centred programme at the Crafts Council Gallery in Islington, North London. Alongside the gallery programme, he works with a wide range of national partners to support community craft activity across the country in a range of settings such as schools, libraries, and makerspaces.

Nick works in a freelance capacity as an art teacher at a SEN school and also delivers health and wellbeing-focused workshops to a range of community groups. He draws from experience working with a range of organisations including Two Temple Place, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Tetley, The Hepworth Wakefield and Morley College.

Film features: Paper playground workshop led by Amy Leung; Crafting with Pride workshops led by Al Hill and Eleanor Louise West

Gemma Smith, Head of Creative Education, Take A Part, Plymouth 

Gemma Smith has worked in the arts in Plymouth for 15 years.  Over that time her work has crossed many different disciplines and involved projects as diverse as community radio, public art, theatre, sculpture, mass dance, stone carving, tour guiding and orchestral outreach.  Always at the heart of these projects has been a desire to work with people, to support new audiences and communities to experience and enjoy artwork for the first time or to grow their passion for the arts in a new direction. 

Gemma has worked with Take A Part for the last 9 years; starting as programme coordinator before moving on to become Creative Education Producer with a specific focus on delivering the Crazy Glue arts group programme and developing connections to creative organisations and opportunities with schools for work with artists in residence. 

In addition to her work at Take A Part, Gemma is the Forum Coordinator for Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership (PCEP) and the education consultant for PCEP project With Flying Colours.  Gemma has also worked on Arts Council projects ‘iOrchestra’ and ‘Horizon’, both within an engagement capacity for Plymouth.   

She has worked with the Barbican Theatre, Stiltskin, Plymouth Dance, Plymouth Culture and Plymouth Music Education Hub, she is currently a member of the governing body at Stoke Damerel Primary Academy in Plymouth.  Gemma is Plymouth born and bred, with many fingers in many pies, she is an individual with a passion for the arts, a desire to support schools to connect with the local scene to cross-pollinate, share projects and flourish. 

Wider than Plymouth Gem is an Engage South West rep and takes every opportunity to connect with peers nationally to share and present the great work taking place in the South West. 

Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn, Senior Education Officer, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre 

Louise has been Senior Education Officer at Llantarnam Grange for 20 years and for 6 years prior to that a freelance artist/tutor. Louise can often be found buried under a mound of carboard prepping for schools’ workshops or liaising with one of the freelance tutors she works with, advising them on their own practice or sharing her ideas. Louise feels that supporting other artists, art educators or colleagues is a vital role of hers and has over the years created a wonderful team to work alongside.  

The weekly learning programme at the Art Centre consists of working with schools, colleges, alternative education bodies, young people, and community groups. Louise believes that art and its promotion of well-being is a vital component across all the elements of the work that she does. The Engage training bursary will enable Louise to further develop her knowledge and understanding about the benefits of the arts on health and well-being. This will also inform her role as Llantarnam Grange’s Safeguarding and Well-being Officer.