News

mac birmingham announces new appointments

mac birmingham is pleased to announce Founder Director of Maverick TV and High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Jonnie Turpie MBE is the new Chair of the board from April 2016.

Mary Martin, currently acting as Interim Chair, will continue as co-Vice-Chair with city lawyer and current Chamber President Greg Lowson. mac’s board will also be joined by new appointee Sharon Lea, formerly Strategic Director at Birmingham City Council.

Jonnie said: ‘I have respected the work and ethos of mac for many years. Its commitment to increasing access to the arts and careers in the creative industries for young people is commendable. It’s an exciting time for arts and culture and creative industries nationally and locally as we continue to contribute to the cultural and economic growth of Birmingham, the West Midlands and UKPLC. mac is a high quality organisation with extensive partnerships and a track record in supporting talent and launching careers from many diverse communities, which I want to support. mac is a constituent part of the creative fuel to power the Midlands engine. I look forward to working alongside Chief Executive, Dorothy Wilson, and my new colleagues on the board in an exciting and rewarding future.’

Jonnie has produced and directed public service drama, documentary and digital media over the last 30 years from the West Midlands, UK. Following from his career as an artist in his own right, his touchstone has been collaborative film, television and digital innovation. He founded Maverick TV in Birmingham and now has offices in Glasgow, London and Los Angeles and joined All3Media in 2007.  In addition to his career in the media, as High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Jonnie has supported and promoted young people’s participation in the Arts, culture and creative industries from across the County including the Black Country, Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry.  

Jonnie pioneered the use of new technology in television, with small-format cameras and high-end post-production graphics. This digital approach led to many early successes, such as the much-loved Trade Secrets series, award-winning TV dramas Blazed, The Visit and Nightshift and laid the foundations for a mainstream approach to digital media with Ideas Factory, Teachers TV, digital health service NHS Local, multi award winning Embarrassing Bodies and recently the new artist short film programme Random Acts for the Arts Council and Channel 4.

Throughout his career he has contributed to the development and delivery of policy across the creative industries and has always had a focus on education and health, alongside young and diverse people’s filmmaking, reflected in his role in establishing the children’s charity First Light Movies. He is a Director of Creative England and The Space, a member of Birmingham Science City and Founder Director of the Birmingham Ormiston Academy.

He was Director of the Regional Development Agency, Innovation Technology Council and Screen West Midlands Chair. He is an Honorary Fellow of Warwick University and was recently honoured with a doctorate in Arts form Coventry University. Jonnie was awarded an MBE for services to international trade in the Queens 2010 New Years’ honours List.

Sharon Lea is very well known in Birmingham and was until recently one of the strategic directors at Birmingham City Council managing a portfolio of services with a gross budget of £600m. She held the culture portfolio within her brief for six years from 2006 and is a passionate advocate for culture in the city and a great supporter of mac – having championed the very successful 2010 mac re-development within the council.

Claire Marshall has been appointed to the new post of Creative and Partnerships Director. This post is designed as part of mac‘s continued evolution of its staffing resource to build on the centre’s outstanding record for artistic innovation and community engagement. The role is designed to ensure the effective development, planning and implementation of all of mac‘s artistic, learning and participation activities, outreach and community engagement programmes and, especially, its creative partnerships and commissioned contracts so that the organisation can fulfil its mission and key objectives.

Claire’s considerable experience has been built as a consultant and project manager primarily within the arts and education sectors, driving large visions through achievable steps that are tailor made for those with and for whom she works. Claire has led substantial long term partnership programmes in Castle Vale and Erdington as well as working with many of the city’s arts organisations as a consultant, facilitator, animateur and manager. Claire is a governor at Rookery Primary School and chair of governors at James Brindley Hospital School. She also supports a number of arts and voluntary sector organisations at board level.

Mary Martin, Interim Chair, commenting on the appointments said: ‘Since its re-opening in 2010 after major redevelopment of its building, mac has gone on from strength to strength. I am delighted to announce the appointments of such high calibre individuals who I know will contribute much to the future of the organisation. They will be a big part of ensuring that mac continues to expand its work and reaches out to audiences locally, nationally and internationally.’

For press enquiries please contact Marcia Springer, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer on 0121 446 3237 or email marcia.springer@macbirmingham.co.uk.

‘I have respected the work and ethos of mac for many years. Its commitment to increasing access to the arts and careers in the creative industries for young people is commendable. It’s an exciting time for arts and culture and creative industries nationally and locally as we continue to contribute to the cultural and economic growth of Birmingham, the West Midlands and UKPLC. mac is a high quality organisation with extensive partnerships and a track record in supporting talent and launching careers from many diverse communities, which I want to support. mac is a constituent part of the creative fuel to power the Midlands engine. I look forward to working alongside Chief Executive, Dorothy Wilson, and my new colleagues on the board in an exciting and rewarding future.’

Jonnie Turpie MBE - Founder Director Maverick TV