Home > News > News > News Item

About Engage

Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

Join now

News Item

Introducing a new Chair and Trustees for Engage

Attendees at the recent Engage AGM will know of the new additions to the Engage Board of Trustees including a new Chair, Shân Evans Maclennan alongside trustees Andrew Lawson, Lorraine Midda and Janie Nicoll.

Shân Evans Maclennan has had a long career as an arts educator, most recently at Southbank Centre, London where she was Deputy Artistic Director with special responsibility for learning and participation, an organisation she joined in 1992 as an Education Officer. She is concerned with access and inclusion for everyone above all else and has a lifelong interest in socially engaged artistic practice. She set up the MA programme at King’s College, University of London, Education in Arts and Cultural Settings in partnership with colleagues in the university’s Education department. She has worked in a range of organisations - from being the first paid employee of The Collective Gallery in Edinburgh via the County Arts and Library Service of Clwyd, North Wales to rural arts development in East Hampshire and the Education team at Southampton Art Gallery. She was involved in Engage (when it was the National Association for Gallery Education) from the late 1980s and her involvement proved formative for her own work. 

Shân said: "My first job as Chair of Engage was to attend the annual conference earlier this month which was held at the Whitworth in Manchester. If I was pleased to become involved with Engage before then I was absolutely delighted afterwards. It confirmed what I have always believed - that the imagination, curiosity and determination of those involved in visual arts education enables real change to take place in the lives of individuals and communities. When we join together, the potential is boundless. It is a real privilege to work with the Board of Trustees, Director, Jane Sillis and her great team to support all of you, the members, with your great work, I’m really looking forward to what we might achieve together."

Andrew Lawson 
is a Senior Commercial HR leader with significant HR experience within retail, restaurants and fast-moving consumer brands, high-growth entrepreneurial start-up businesses, social enterprise, telecommunications, media and retail. His areas of expertise include learning and development, resourcing and talent, employee relations, organisation design and culture change as well as HRIS implementation. Andrew’s previous roles include Director of HR at the Fat Duck Group, Head of Human Resources at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, Head of Human Resources at Fifteen Foundation Charity and Coffee Republic. Since January 2017 Andrew has been Head of Human Resources at Shakespeare’s Globe, a world-renowned arts and education charity based on London’s Bankside. Andrew’s key focuses include the creation and implementation of a three-year people plan, to support the Globe’s short-term challenges as well as longer-term organisational strategy and transformation. Most recently he has project-led an award-winning apprentice programme (a first at The Globe) and also the implementation of a new digital HR information, workforce management and payroll system. Diversity and Inclusion is also a strategic priority as well as pay and career structures, skills development and culture / values.

Lorraine Midda was honoured with an MBE in 2017 for Parliamentary Services and charitable work for Haven House Children’s Hospice. In her 15-year career in retail management she informed the successful implementation of quality customer engagement models, enhanced by a master’s degree in Customer Service Management from Leicester University. As an entrepreneur, she created an IT training company with blue chip clients using her IT expertise, sales & marketing skills and ability to analyse and challenge existing ways of working. For the past 25 years her career has been in technology. She currently works with key stakeholders in the Member community across Parliament on strategic ICT direction.

Lorraine is an accredited coach, effectively engaging staff to progress careers. Development of processes and people transition alongside change is something she is passionate about, especially in fast paced digital platforms, encouraging leaders to become more focused. In addition, she delivers mindfulness whilst developing Mindfulness Leadership training within Parliament. She is a keen charity fundraiser having taken part in various challenges including free-fall abseiling the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s tallest sculpture 262 feet from the ground. 

Janie Nicoll is a Glasgow-based visual artist who studied Painting at Edinburgh College of Art and the MFA at Glasgow School of Art. She creates hybrid-works across a range of media often in collaboration with other artists or communities. She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, and has been advocating for better working conditions for artists through her role as President of Scottish Artists Union, her involvement with Engage Council as a Special Interest Representative for Freelancers and also an involvement with the Paying Artists Campaign. Her most recent project ‘In Kind’ is an action research project in collaboration with artist Ailie Rutherford, attempting to map the hidden economies of the visual arts, using Glasgow International 2018 as a case study. 

Posted on 29 November 2018

Tell us what you think

Please log in above to post a comment.

  • Home
    Terms and Conditions
    Cookie Policy
    Contact Us
  • Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, is a charitable company limited by guarantee
  • Charity number: 1087471
    Company number: 4194208
    OSCR no. SC039719
  • Registered office:
    Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road,
    London E1 6LA
Arts Council EnglandCreative Scotland
Arts Council of Wales