Press Release: The Art House secures Arts Council funding for major new leadership development programme


Change Makers:
The Art House and Hannah Kayi Mason

Developing diversity and visual arts leadership

The Art House, Wakefield is delighted to announce that it has secured £132,912 to fund a major leadership development programme, working to connect diverse artists with national and international networks and partnerships.

  • Arts Council England has awarded The Art House £132,912 to deliver an 18 month development programme with Hannah Kayi Mason, commissioning ambitious co-production and solo projects.
  • The project will drive and champion new, essential and exceptional opportunities with black, minority ethnic and disabled artists.
  • The Art House will work with artists Veronica Ryan and Sean Burn and partners including Venture Arts in Manchester, Project Ability in Glasgow, Action Space in London, Mother Tongue part of the Tilting Axis Consortium, Mental Health Museum and The Hepworth Wakefield.

The successful application will support the delivery of a ground-breaking leadership and development programme working with new CEO/Artistic Director Shân Edwards and Hannah Kayi Mason, an emerging black and disabled leader in the visual arts. Hannah will take the lead on two ambitious projects, working with artists to develop new work in collaboration with national partnering organisations. She will also perform research on an international scale to inform the creation of an innovative new model for peer-led development for artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and with a variety of needs.

Arts Council England Change Makers Fund
The aim of the fund is to increase the diversity of senior leadership in art and culture by helping to develop a cohort of leaders who are Black, minority ethnic and/or disabled by means of a targeted senior leadership training and development programme.

An additional aim of the fund is to provide host National portfolio organisations with a development opportunity to adopt cultural change that can be a catalyst for improving their contribution to the Creative case for diversity.

Quote from Michelle Dickson, Director North, Arts Council England
“Our Change Makers programme is part of our commitment to ensuring that arts and culture across England reflects the diversity of our communities and I’m delighted that we have funded The Art House to work with Hannah Kayi Mason. I’m looking forward to seeing how the partnership develops through the next year and to seeing the resulting projects.”

Quote from Jane Glaister, Chair of Trustees, The Art House
“The Art House is a developmental organisation that was built on the recognition that diversity is fundamental to artistic and cultural excellence and innovation. We focus on removing the barriers that are preventing people, at whatever stage of their creative journey, to achieve excellence.

We need leaders with diverse backgrounds and alternative ways of thinking to challenge the hegemony that can inhibit organisations and we are delighted that the ACE Change Makers programme will enable Hannah and the organisation to support each other and work together on this exciting journey.”

Quote from Hannah Kayi Mason
“Diversity is fundamental to what it is to be human. Our differences make us unique and should not be disadvantages to progression but tools which enhance it. The Art House helps artists embrace their diversity and enables the development of their practices by challenging barriers. I have been a supporter for many years and am truly delighted to be working with them on this exciting, ground-breaking project.”



Editors Notes

Media Information 
For more information, interviews and images please contact:

Helen Deevy, or Neil Shand,
Tel: 01924 312000

About Hannah Kayi Mason
Hannah is a project manager and communications director with over 10 years’ experience in the arts, education, public and private sectors. Hannah is an innovative problem solver and entrepreneurial creative communicator. She is a CIM qualified marketer who runs her own business devising digital strategy, designing websites, and managing online content for artists and creative practitioners.

Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

About The Art House 
The Art House is a visual arts development agency and a registered charity (number 1063671) established in 1994 by a group of artists in response to the lack of facilities for disabled visual artists. The Art House now provides studios and programmes offering time, space and support for artists and associates to develop their creative and critical practice and progress their professional careers. 

Alongside an accessible programme of events, training and mentoring, residencies and commissions, The Art House develops collaborative platforms promoting equality and diversity, driving new research and contributing to an essential discourse around the Creative Case for Diversity in contemporary visual arts practice.

In May 2015 The Art House completed the conversion of the former Drury Lane Library through a £3m capital project funded by European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England. The 1906 Grade II listed library has been repurposed as 34 studios, meeting rooms, a Project Space, and public spaces including a new Reception. Across this and its original building adjacent the library, The Art House now offers 48 studios and workspaces for the creative industries, and houses other creative businesses including Axisweb and Beam.

The Art House is an NPO (national Portfolio organisation) with Arts Council England.

To find out more about The Art House please contact Helen Deevy, Admin and Communications Officer on 01924 312000, email