Last Thursday’s AGM at The Cut was a significant event as it marked the start of a new era for the organisation.
After 9 years of amazing activities, and with both sadness and some relief, I stepped down as Chair of the Management Committee and handed the role over to Genevieve Rudd. Genevieve has been the Great Yarmouth representative since 2017 and the Newsletter/Social Media/Website mastermind for the last year or so. I and the committee are hugely pleased that she is taking on this role and leading a refreshed team into the next period of W&BA growth.
For it was not only my turn to step down. We also said thanks and farewell to Jan Dungey, who has had to retire as Secretary due to ill health, and to Hon Treasurer Greg Tebble who is stepping back into an advisory role, but remaining as Independent Examiner. In their places Jo Butcher was elected as Secretary and Katie Ferdinand as Treasurer.
These three bright young women, plus Harleston representative Hatty Leith, make up what we are calling the Next Generation Team. In keeping with W&BA’s collaborative style of management and delivery they are going to undertake a professional development programme over the next 12 months so that they are in a strong position to lead the organisation into new areas. Members of the original team (Simon Raven, Brian Guthrie, Netta Swallow and myself) are staying as active members of the Management Committee to provide continuity and share our knowledge and skills, but will have a much lighter hand on the tiller.
You will be pleased to learn that as the organisation is in a sound financial state it was decided to peg membership rates for another year at the current level. New automated functions are being added to the W&BA website so that it will be much easier to take out and renew membership, and to buy tickets for events. These aspects are being road-tested at the moment and as soon as they are fully functional you will be sent a reminder to renew your membership before 31st December, so please look out for this.
Thanks to those members who came along on Thursday, or sent their apologies, and to all our members for your continuing support and enthusiasm. We always appreciate your comments, suggestions and even niggles (not that there are many!) so please stay in contact, and continue to help arts and the environment thrive in Waveney & Blyth.
Here is Genevieve to introduce herself and tell you about her aspirations for the organisation:
“I have been involved with W&BA since 2017 as the representative for Great Yarmouth. For the past 14 months, I’ve collated the weekly newsletters, and managed the website and social media for W&BA. I have also led walks as part of the annual Celebrate programme in my end of the micro-region. Alongside my work at W&BA, my background is in community arts and arts engagement. I organise and lead creative projects with people in Norfolk & Suffolk as a freelancer, plus as an Associate Artist/Tutor at the Sainsbury Centre at the UEA. I work with a broad cross-section of community groups, and the common factor which links the projects is to connect people to local heritage, cultural and environmental matters through visual arts.
“I’m very honoured to be put forward as Chair for W&BA, and to be part of the Next Generation team, which will build upon the last 10 years of excellent work, and look forward to the next 10 years, and beyond. As Chair, I will bring my energy and enthusiasm for connecting people with the local landscape through the arts, my experience of coordinating arts projects, and of building collaborative working partnerships in the locality.”
From Nicky Stainton & Genevieve Rudd