The CHARTS network was conceived through the desire to create a sustainable future for the Culture, Heritage and Arts sector in Argyll.
It has been developed through Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership Programme, with additional European funding secured through the Leader programme.
Through extensive consultation with the sector and a 2 year programme of delivery, CHARTS is now a registered, membership-led charity (SCIO) which aims to:
- Foster collaborative working across the whole Culture Heritage and Arts sector.
- Create events and products that are of sufficient quality and scale to be marketable at the highest level.
- Create an environment that supports sustainability for sole traders and micro-businesses so they can afford to stay in Argyll and the Isles
- Be an advocate for the needs and benefits of cultural activity
Please also see Wander Argyll.
About the Board
Jo McLean (Chair)
A former Classical musician, Jo is a relationship builder with 10 years’ experience as a leader in the cultural sector. Jo has worked across sectors producing large scale events, often outdoors, and with an international scope. Her passion is for helping organisations improve their performance, whether that be through facilitating dialogue about purpose and goals, innovating business models, streamlining and digitising work processes or bringing people together to shape and align behind a vision. Jo has led and directed a number of ambitious projects aimed at cultural transformation delivering increased impact, though a progression of senior Executive and Board roles. After nearly five years leading The Touring Network, Jo has recently moved to a new role as Executive Director at The Clod Ensemble. She will split her time between London and Scotland.
Seymour Adams was Director of Corporate Governance at Croydon University Hospital NHS Trust from 2011 to 2014, having previously been Head of Corporate Governance at NHS London and, before that, Head of Human Rights in the UK Ministry of Justice. He was a non Executive Director of the Scotland Office from 2007 - 2015 (and Chair of its Audit Committee 2012-15). He is currently Chair of Historic Kilbride, and of the Lorn Archaeological and Historical Society; joint Secretary of the Oban Music Society and a member of the Scottish Community Heritage Alliance Working Group.
Councillor Jim Anderson
Retired from a career in Leisure Services for Argyll and Bute Council where he ended his time as Performance Manager, Jim is now a Councillor for the Dunoon ward. The Performance Manager role included the development and operation of all staff and facilities across the Leisure Service, co-ordinating events including the Labour Party European Delegates Conference and between 1994-2018 he was Vice Convener and Venue Co-ordinator for the Royal National Mod in Dunoon. During his career he was committed to coaching the local swimming team which culminated in selection as a Youth Coach for Scotland. Hobbies include Swimming, Cycling and spending time with grandchildren.
Ellen has worked within the arts sector in Scotland for over twenty-five years as a cultural producer, fundraiser and project manager. She has worked with a wide range of artists and arts organisations to deliver some of the most ambitious, large-scale events staged in the UK and internationally. For the majority of her career she was Executive Director and joint CEO of NVA, a highly acclaimed public art charity that produced a significant body of work over the years that was designed to deliver public benefit and social outcomes through culture, heritage and the arts.
Joe has worked in museums and heritage for nearly 20 years, beginning his museum career at West Dunbartonshire Council. While at the Council, Joe was instrumental in Achieving Accreditation and Recognised Collection status. Launching the Creative Apprenticeship for museums in Scotland, he has been a pioneer of vocational learning and the breaking down of barriers for entrance to the museum workforce. Becoming involved in projects to re-purpose historic buildings and using heritage to inform the building of new health centres, Joe ended his time at West Dunbartonshire as Section Head of Culture and Creative Learning, eventually managing heritage, arts, learning across libraries, museums and cultural venues, and music services in schools. Having worked with the MA Board as Councillor in Scotland, the Committee of the Scottish Museums Federation, and as a Museum Mentor, Joe is a real advocate for meaningful engagement with, and advocacy of, museums in Scotland.
Dr Michael Pierre Johnson
Dr Michael Pierre Johnson is a Creative Economy Innovation Leadership Fellow at The Glasgow School of Art’s Innovation School and GSA Programme Lead for MSc International Management and Design Innovation. His research uses co-design practices, visual mapping and modelling methods to support and evaluate creative collaboration between different expertise, stakeholders and publics in the face of shared societal challenges. Between 2019 and 2021, he delivered research partnerships with a cultural hub network in Bristol and Bath, NEoN digital arts festival in Dundee and CHARTS Argyll and Isles, as part of an AHRC-funded leadership fellowship, to support strategic sustainable development for creative microenterprises and place-based collaborations.
Julian Forrester was born in Lanarkshire and read English at McGill University in Montreal. From the mid-1970s he was Producer for the Clarence Brown Company, a touring theatre based at the University of Tennessee, and then Director of the World Festival at the 1982 World's Fair. He returned to the UK in 1984 as Producer for Anthony Quayle’s Compass Theatre and then in 1995 became freelance as an adviser to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Dean Clough and the Prudential Awards for the Arts, among others. From 2000 he has been involved with Cove Park, first as an adviser, latterly as Director. Julian retired from Cove Park early in 2021.
About our Core Staff
CHARTS has a small staff team and commissions project staff. Please see our Showcase page for project staff details.
Kathleen O’Neill, Director (0.6)
Kathleen has extensive national and international leadership experience including arts, heritage, and regeneration projects. This includes significant fundraising and commissioning to create opportunities, including new models of practice, across the cultural sector. Kathleen trained in painting at the Byam Shaw School of Art and holds an MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy.
James Coutts, Communications Coordinator (0.6)
Raising the profile of the arts is second nature to James. Trading as Opening Lines, James manages arts communication projects that are contemporary and artistically relevant. During the pandemic he has managed campaigns that drive audiences to digital projects such as productions, training events and crowdfunds.
About Our Structure
The Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly (CHARTS) is constituted as a two-tier Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). This comprises a Board of Trustees and members, who are also supported by a regional Steering Group. Sector representatives communicate the needs of the sector to the Director.
CHARTS network members have the right to attend members' meetings (including any annual general meeting) and have important powers under the constitution; in particular, the members have the right to appoint people to serve on the board and take decisions on changes to the constitution itself.
The organisation will have no fewer than 20 members at any time. Membership is open to any individual aged 16 or over who is a member of any of the geographic or thematic cultural hubs in Argyll and Bute. Membership is also available to practitioners nationally and internationally, collaborating with the organisation or with a particular association to development in the region.
About The Steering Group (Abr. Change Makers)
The Steering Group is a membership group, and its representation is two-fold:
- Regional members, including cultural leaders with local and national reputation
- Strategic staff employed by CHARTS and external bodies
Members are invited by local council area, creative-industry and strategic programming interest. This enables strong networked communications, across Argyll and the Islands providing direct reach across
- Lorne & Isles
- Mid Argyll
- Kintyre & Isles
- Bute and Cowal
- Helensburgh & Lomond
- Other strategic representation; Arts Collectives, Gaelic, Creative Education and senior level Economic Development (Argyll and Bute Council), University of Highland and Islands.
The role of this steering group is to facilitate change to advance the organisational intelligence and capacity of the CHARTS network. As ‘change-makers’ representatives are expected to:
- Attend regular group meetings
- Feed into the direction of CHARTS’ core activity
- Represent CHARTS throughout the region
- Maintain contact with groups/areas represented to disseminate information
- Offer direct/ hands-on support to projects under development as appropriate
Our Funders (2021-2022)
CHARTS is currently funded by The ScottishPower Foundation, Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Argyll and Bute Council. Other support includes from the Innovation School at Glasgow School of Art.
Child protection policy
Conflict of interest policy
Complaints procedure policy
Equalities and diversity policy
Vulnerable adults policy
Our Partners and useful organisations
CHARTS works collaboratively with a number of key funders and organisations who help support and inform our direction;
Main photo: McCaig Tower, Oban, Colmcille Awards Projection Event (09.06.2021), artwork by Thomas Keyes. Photography: Och Aye Events.