TURAS 2022, Credit Mark Neal (1)




About Charts

The CHARTS network was conceived through the desire to create a sustainable future for the Culture, Heritage and Arts sector in Argyll.

CHARTS is a member-guided charity (SCIO) which aims to:

If you would like to know more, please take a look at our 2023 Annual Review

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 Board

Jo McLean (Chair) is a former Classical musician; Jo is a relationship builder with 15 years of experience as a leader in the cultural sector. Jo has worked across sectors often with an international scope. Her passion is helping organisations improve their performance, whether 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 through a progression of senior Executive and Board roles. Jo is now the Director at People United, an organisation which investigates how to disrupt the status quo, particularly at the intersection of care and power.

Seymour Adams is the former 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 the Scottish Community Heritage Alliance and of the Friends of Kilbride, and Company Secretary of the Rockfield Centre and joint Secretary of the Oban Music Society.

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 has worked in various capacities across all the art forms in the UK, in the United States and Canada. For ten years, from 1970, he produced touring theatre in the United States at the University of Tennessee, a groundbreaking collaboration between professional and academic theatre. He then spent two years creating the cultural programme at the 1982 Worlds Fair in Tennessee, a celebration of the cultures of the forty-seven participating nations, including, for the first time, the People's Republic of China. In 1984, he returned to the UK at Anthony Quayle’s invitation to produce tours for Compass Theatre, taking large-scale classic work to theatres across the UK. In 1992 he started a freelance career in which his clients included the Prudential’s Arts Award programmes, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Dean Clough in Halifax and the American School in Switzerland. In 2000 he was invited by Peter and Eileen Jacobs to develop a programme of cross art form residencies for Cove Park in Argyll and Bute, at that time, a new initiative to bring creative people together from across cultures and art forms. He retired in 2020 and now develops one-off international artists exchanges. He has been a trustee of Northern Ballet, the Siobhan Davies Dance Company and Escape Artists. 


Argyll and Bute Council representation role is temporarily vacant 


Other Council Support 

Arlene Cullum Argyll and Bute Council Link Officer. Arlene managed the establishment of CHARTS with the original steering group through successful bids to Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership and the Argyll and the Isles LEADER programme. Arlene is a Senior Economic Development Officer in the Transformation Projects and Regeneration Team, which sits within Economic Growth.  Part of Arlene’s role is to sustain and grow Creative Industries through the council’s film location service and strategic events and festivals fund, VACMA grants, council grants, and to assist the delivery of the council’s Gaelic Language Plan.  Arlene provides information and support, acting as a critical friend to CHARTS and attending Board meetings, Steering Group meetings and working groups where required.  Arlene’s wider work includes working with business Improvement districts in the area, museums and heritage including Helensburgh Outdoor Museum, the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail, Hermitage Park Helensburgh, Royal National Mòd in Oban 2024 and other economic regeneration projects.

About The Steering Group

The Steering Group is a key part of the operational infrastructure of CHARTS as a member-guided organisation. It is designed to both represent our membership and maximise the impact of our services.

Steering Group members are expected to:

The Steering Group currently comprises ten people supporting staff to develop arts, heritage and placemaking initiatives at a local and regional level. Leaders with an understanding of strategic development in their field are invited to become group members. Current representation includes:

The group also benefits from CHARTS staff and specialist officer support from Argyll and Bute Council’s link officer Arlene Cullum, Senior Officer, Transformation Projects and Regeneration, Economic Development and other Council and Live Argyll officer support.

CHARTS Members are encouraged to contact the Steering Group via the Steering Group contact form. This form is designed to help support our members and provide information to enable the Steering Group to discuss and help us better understand and respond to local area needs.


Contact form

About Staff

CHARTS has a small staff team and commissions project staff. Please see our Showcase page for project staff details.


Kathleen O’Neill, Director 

Kathleen has extensive national and international leadership experience, including arts, heritage museums and regeneration projects and is a Board member of Museums Galleries Scotland. Kathleen is a former member of the International Think Tank, Creative Scotland, is an alumni of the Byam Shaw School of Art and holds an MSc in Environment, Policy and Heritage, from the University of Stirling.

As Director, Kathleen has an overview to continually develop the impact of CHARTS.



Kirsten Millar, Communications and Marketing Manager

Kirsten Millar is an artist living and working on the West Coast of Scotland her artistic practice is centred around the industrial heritage of Argyll and perceptions of Scottish landscapes. Kirsten has a BA and MA in Contemporary Art Practice and SCQF level 6 in digital marketing obtained through the CHARTS Modern Apprenticeship scheme.  

As Communications and Marketing Manager, Kirsten continually aims to raise the profile of CHARTS work managing digital and print media, website and socials, with close communications with all project managers and contributes to all evaluation processes. Kirsten works closely with CHARTS 500+ members of individuals and organisations across the arts and heritage sector to amplify their voices while managing day-to-day operations.



See our full Staff A-Z

Our policies












Our Partners and useful organisations

CHARTS was developed through Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership Programme, with additional European funding secured through the Leader programme. CHARTS works collaboratively with a number of key funders and organisations who help support and inform our direction; 

Argyll and Bute Council  

Argyll and Bute Museums and Heritage Forum

Argyll and the Islands LEADER Programme

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Business Gateway

Creative Scotland 

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 

Wild About Argyll

Our Funders (2023-2024)

CHARTS is currently funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Argyll and Bute Council. Other support includes the Innovation and Technology at the Glasgow School of Art, Museum and Galleries Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, and Rewards Training Scotland. 



Also see Wander Argyll