BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Helen Watson

HELEN WATSON

Helen has over twenty five years’ experience working nationally in museums, galleries and heritage. She has worked for national institutions, the private & commercial sector and charities. Recent roles include Director at The Tetley, Leeds, a pioneering centre for contemporary art and Director of Programming, Lakeland Arts, one of the North’s leading arts and heritage organisations. Helen’s expertise lies in artistic and learning programming, curation, organisational development and change management. She has an MA in Museum Studies, is an Associate of the Museums Association, a Coach and Clore Leadership Fellow.

Helen is also currently Co-Director (Maternity Leave)

Christian Barnes

Christian Barnes

Christian is the lead Media and Film tutor at Barrow Sixth Form, which is part of Furness College serving 5000 students. As a full time tutor he is the point of contact with local students and the wider youth community. Christian has been a teacher since 2000 and before that worked as part of a music and advertising production company.  He has a degree in Script Writing for Film and TV.

David Foster

DAvid foster

David is a Board-level advisor, facilitator and change manager, working humanely with staff across all functions and levels to identify and solve complex challenges that relate to organisation, operation and strategy. He ran ‘direct experience’ marketing agencies for more than a decade before becoming an independent consultant in 2007. He additionally taught to Master’s level within University of Brighton, Business School, until 2020, where he created the Curious Cloud methodology to help people to notice and solve complex organisational problems. He holds an Executive MBA from London Business School and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Karen Bird

Karen Bird

A rare female director who created pop promos for ‘Godfathers of music video’ Godley and Creme in the late 80s, working with artists including John Lydon, Trent Reznor and Van Morrison. Karen returned north to hone her storytelling skills and pursue her passion for helping others develop their creativity after working for many years for the UK Film Council as a mentor on crew trainee schemes on productions such as Channel 4’s SHAMELESS and the BBC’s WATERLOO ROAD. Primarily a writer/director, Karen has overseen production of over 30 short films at Signal which have screened at festivals around the world and won numerous prizes. She is currently in post-production on her own latest short film.

Natalia Wealleans-Turner

Natalia Wealleans-Turner

Natalia has worked in the Charitable sector since her early twenties both as a professional in the Youth Work, Addiction and Multicultural field. She has also been a volunteer Trustee working across Cumbria, primarily in her home town Barrow in Furness – a place she is hugely fond of, and passionate about.

Natalia has had the pleasure of undertaking numerous project management, development and delivery roles with a clear focus on community engagement and inclusion in a variety of settings. She is a passionate advocate of Art in all forms and its transformative impact on the lives and experiences of individuals and communities. 

Natalia is a 42 year old Feminist and Vegan who wears various ‘hats’ including that of being a busy working parent to a teenager, a lover of poetry and is committed to personal growth!

Brie Burkeman

Brie Burkeman

Brie Burkeman has extensive experience as an international literary agent working in publishing, television, theatre and film in a career spanning thirty-five years. She worked at Curtis Brown and Jonathan Clowes before setting up her own agency in 2000 and incorporating Serafina Clarke Ltd. Brie was one of the first administrators at the Directors Guild of Great Britain, helping them get established and creating their database. Whilst a member of the Authors’ Agents Associations and the Personal Managers’ Association, she also collaborated and negotiated with industry bodies such as the Writers Guild of Great Britain, the Society of Authors, the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society, the BBC and Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television in respect of minimum term agreements. Brie closed her agency in 2015 for family reasons and has since become a student with the Open University. She mentors various creators and has been an NHS Responder Volunteer during the pandemic.

Helen Wall

helen wall

Helen has been a Barrow Borough Labour Councillor since 2011 and is the lead member on the council for wildlife and heritage.  She has been a Cumbria County Councillor since 2013. Helen’s working life was spent as a journalist on Furness newspapers, including nearly twenty years as arts correspondent on the Evening Mail and ten years as Mother of the Chapel (union rep.) She is the chair of the Islands and Bays of Barrow Coastal Communities Team and is on the board of Furness Carers.  Helen founded the Barrow’s Beautiful Places group.

Jemma Swales

Jemma Swales

Jemma is an autism practitioner with fifteen years’ experience supporting autistic people and their families. After studying psychology at university, Jemma worked in London for five years with autistic adults before moving back to Cumbria to set up as self-employed. Jemma is one of the directors of Autus Cumbria, a not-for-profit organisation which supports local autistic people through youth groups, activities and training.