Six new roles have been appointed to the team delivering LEEDS 2023, the ambitious year of culture planned for the city and region. A new Head of Creative Learning and Engagement; three Producers and two Creative Technologists have joined the LEEDS 2023 team, each bringing to their role a passion for Leeds and its communities to ensure that 2023 will be extraordinary.
The work to deliver a year-long cultural event that generates a lasting legacy for people in all wards of the city has already begun. Kully Thiarai, Creative Director and Chief Executive of LEEDS 2023, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time to join our team. In the last few months, we’ve launched ‘Letting Culture Loose’, our drive to uncover creativity across the city, and we are commissioning work from 23 artists who will work in 23 communities of Leeds for ‘My World, My City, My Neighbourhood’.”
The Creative Technologist role is shared between Matt Allen and Adam Sas-Skowronski. Briefed to diversify and broaden collaborative opportunities between creative, digital and technology driven industries Matt and Adam each bring each bring significant experience in producing, programming and making digital artwork in Leeds for over a decade and together set up arts collective Closed Forum in 2016.
Senior Producers Kate Reynolds and Martha Rose Wilson will be responsible for planning and delivering key projects and maintaining relationships with partner organisations. Kate brings over 18 years’ experience gleaned from over a decade spent at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and more recently as a producer for Manchester International Festival. Experienced in producing large scale, site-specific theatre, audio and video installations, Martha brings expertise of working at all scales, from The Old Vic in London and Principality Stadium in Cardiff to living rooms and community venues across Leeds, even on Welsh mountainsides.
Young people and communities are front and centre for Lee Brennan in his new position as Head of Creative Learning and Engagement. His role will focus on driving participation and creating a significant impact on communities across the city and region. Lee has worked extensively across cultural education and community engagement for over 25 years, most recently at The Lowry, Salford.
Anna Turzynski comes to LEEDS 2023 as a producer, part of the team responsible for the development of ideas, to delivery and presentation. Known in Leeds for her work as a senior producer for Compass Live Art and the acclaimed Grief Series, Anna, specialises in socially-engaged work, in particular bringing work to non-traditional spaces and audiences.
Kully Thiarai added: “The creative sector has been so badly hit by the pandemic and we are committed to creating good quality jobs at a time when the industry most needs them. Matt, Lee, Kate, Adam, Anna and Martha each bring a different and inspiring perspective to the 2023 table which is key to making sure the 2023 programme is the best it can be.”