Important Development Bulletin from Emmy @ Ark-T

with No Comments

Dear Friends, Fans and Funders of Ark-T

We are excited to share with you an important strategic development at the charity.

As many of you know, I went on Maternity Leave in January 2019. During this time, I received not only a beautiful baby but also the diagnosis of autism to my other beautiful 7-year-old son.

After careful reflection and a reorganisation of life priorities, it became very clear to me that I needed to devote more time to meeting the needs of my son as well as being able to continue working for an organisation and mission I am deeply passionate about.

I am therefore both excited and proud to announce that Ark-T will now have two leaders as I will be sharing the role of CEO with Lizzy McBain, someone I deeply admire and aspire to.

The trustees have demonstrated to me that this charity exercises and upholds its values of diversity and inclusion, by thinking outside of the box and encouraging me to continue in my leadership of the charity whilst also honouring my needs as a mother. A board like this demonstrates integrity and compassion.

Ark T now have job shares operating at all levels of our organisation, going from a team of 2 to 13 in under 3 years,  We are seeing that this level of flexibility and diversity of perspective is fostering creativity and enabling wellbeing to flourish.

What happens to an organisation when decision making is shared? We can stop relying on one perspective for the right answer. We can challenge our peer to think critically and in this way stop the risk of assumption-led management.

Sharing power is risky and may unsettle the institutional mindset attuned to a key figurehead carrying the weight of responsibility and influence. However, Sharing power is a named value our team agreed on during our strategic development last year- Dismantling the traditional organisational hierarchy feels relevant and exciting.

We believe that with our two minds, two different sets of skills and a deeply collaborative approach, the charity will become more resilient, more resourced

and more innovative.

I will be taking the lead on the important strategic project with StepChange and Oxfordshire Community Foundation, our mental health and wellbeing work with CAMHS and Response, the strategic partnership with Cultural Education Partnership, and HR.

Lizzy will be leading the way with the artistic programming across the two centres, The People’s Gallery, managing finance and overseeing the delivery of all major funded youth projects.

Together, we will work on impact, ROAR festival and partnership with Carnival, developing the capital buildings at our two centres, fundraising and safeguarding, We will ensure this information is explicit on our website to ensure clarity in communication. We have a shared vision for artistic excellence, social impact and are both ambitious about the future of Ark-T.

Words from Lizzy McBain

“I am thrilled to have been offered the position of joint CEO with Emmy. I have long had the dream to work as an Artistic Director of an arts organisation but it had to be the right time and place. Ark-T is that place; working as Ark-T’s Children In Need Project Manager or the past year I have become deeply passionate about its community, its work, and its ambition. I am excited to bring my 12 years of strategic experience and fundraising alongside my expertise as a Creative Director in the field of participatory theatre to the role, sharing the vision and mission with Emmy, someone whose management style I deeply respect, and whose ambition for Ark-T is inspirational.”

I return to work on the 24th of June, in partnership with Lizzy and the people we work for, fired up with vision for how our charity can truly make a difference, not just by opening doors in society to those who feel shut out but by taking them away all together through the events, projects and partnerships we create using the combined transformative powers of art and human connection.

With all good wishes,

Emmy O’Shaughnessy

Joint CEO of Ark-T

Leave a Reply