Jane Lawson announced as Manchester Culture Awards winner for the ‘Promotion of Talent and Leadership’

Posted on 28 November 2021

We are delighted to share, Jane Lawson, Castlefield Gallery’s Artist Development Producer, is the 2021 Manchester Culture Awards winner for the ‘Promotion of Talent and Leadership’. The award is about celebrating great work supporting others to develop their skills and talents for future success. 

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, commenting on the awards this year said:

Manchester is and always will be a city that champions culture and creativity and we embrace everything the arts have to offer as an essential part of what helps make Manchester great.”

This year’s judging panel included actor Julie Hesmondhalgh; Jennifer Cleary, Director, Combined Arts and North, Arts Council England; Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader Manchester City Council; Dr Cordelle Ofori, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning; Lisa O’Loughlin – Principal of The Manchester College; and Fiona Worrall, Strategic Director Neighbourhoods, Manchester City Council. 

Castlefield Gallery nominated Jane for this award, feeling strongly that her work should be recognised by the city. For just shy of a decade, Jane has coordinated Castlefield Gallery Associates and led on Castlefield Gallery artist development programmes. To date these have included Salford Scholars and Castlefield Gallery / Manchester School of Arts mentees, bOlder, the Manchester Open Awards, and SUSTAIN. During this period Jane has committed herself to supporting literally hundreds of artists and creative freelancers in the region. 

We also wanted to highlight the way Jane responded to the crisis of the pandemic. Her immediate action and unflinching selflessness saw Castlefield Gallery artist development activities swiftly move online, minimising disruption to our programmes. Jane in fact increased activity to ensure those needing an enhanced level of support could access additional sessions and contact over what has been an exceptionally challenging period. 

Helen Wewiora, Castlefield Gallery’s Director and Artistic Director said: 

The personal sacrifice we have witnessed Jane make in the last 18months has been moving and inspirational. We really wanted to see Jane’s care, compassion and selflessness recognised. She’s made an enormous difference to so many artists and freelancers, pre and post pandemic. 

Artists supported by Jane over the last 18months have stated:

Jane really kept us all together during this time and it was good to share our thoughts and feelings and to be able to empathise with those going through very emotional times. Thanks Jane, you are brilliant.

And of her work have said:

Delivered with compassion, in an enthusiastic way. Almost life changing.

From everyone at the gallery, our trustees, volunteers, supporters and creative communities, thank you Jane!!