A press release from the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Brontë Museum Director to take up new role in Bradford
It has been announced that Director at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Andrew McCarthy, will soon be leaving Haworth to take up a new position with Artworks Creative Communities in Bradford.
Andrew has been based at the Parsonage for fourteen years; as Education Officer, Audience Development Manager and Deputy Director, eventually being appointed museum Director in July 2008. He initially developed the museum’s education programme and was responsible for several large scale arts education projects in Haworth including The Wind on the Moors, involving four Bradford ‘link’ schools from diverse communities in the city, working with a librettist, composer and professional team of musicians to create a new opera based on the Brontës’ lives which was performed at St Michael & All Angels Church.
Andrew was also responsible for initiating the museum’s contemporary arts programme which launched in 2006 with an exhibition of work by the British, Turner-prize nominated artist, Cornelia Parker, who was commissioned to create new work in response to the museum and its collection. The programme, which has received funding support from Arts Council England and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, has brought many well established writers and artists to Haworth in recent years, as well as giving opportunities to emerging, regional creative talent. The programme includes regular readings and events with visiting authors (including an annual Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing). There are also workshops, drop-in activities and special projects, aimed at encouraging visitors to respond to the museum through creative activity, and residencies with writers and artists working with community groups.
As Director, Andrew also delivered a phased programme of development at the museum which saw a major refurbishment of its main exhibition space, and a Heritage Lottery Funded project to re-case, redisplay and re-interpret the museum’s collection in the historic rooms of the house. This programme is due to be completed in January 2013 when the Parsonage will be redecorated following an extensive programme of decorative archaeological analysis aimed at reinstating a more authentic Brontë decorative scheme.
During his time as Director, the museum’s collection has grown significantly, visitor numbers have increased, and despite the challenging economic environment, the past three years have seen the museum deliver successive operating surpluses, after a long period of financial instability.
Andrew McCarthy has achieved a great deal during his time with the Brontë Society and will leave the Parsonage Museum and its public programmes in a position of strength going forward. The Society wishes Andrew every success in his new post with Artworks. Andrew is passionate about improving access to the arts and whilst he will be sorely missed we are delighted to think we might look forward to potential collaborations between the Bronte Parsonage Museum and Artworks in the future. (Sally McDonald – Chairman of the Brontë Society)Andrew will be leaving Haworth in July to take up the role of Operations Director with Bradford based Artworks Creative Communities. Artworks, now based at the Delius Arts & Cultural Centre in Great Horton Road, was established in 1998 and has developed a significant regional reputation for innovative projects that use creativity as a force for change. Working with professional artists and in partnership with communities, organizations and businesses, Artworks develop and deliver exciting projects that use participation in the arts as a tool to inspire, connect and engage those who tend to be excluded from participation in culture and the arts.
The Artworks Team is greatly looking forward to welcoming Andrew to his new post just in time to help us celebrate our one year anniversary of moving into the Delius Arts & Cultural Centre. Andrew’s dedication to the arts is evident through his work with the Brontë Parsonage Museum and the legacy he will leave there. (Estelle Cooper – Artworks Creative Communities)