The two people appointed to drive forward the legacy plans outlined by Hull UK City of Culture 2017 in September have been announced today, following an open recruitment process.
Katy Fuller, currently executive producer at Hull 2017, and Emma Morris, who is a University of Hull alumna and was most recently executive director at Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery, are to become creative director and executive director respectively.
Katy has more than seventeen years’ experience in outdoor arts, festivals and site-specific projects and a career-long commitment to engaging the broadest possible audiences in cultural activity. She has been involved in developing a range of events across the UK and as executive producer at Hull 2017, had a strategic role in developing the programme and led on the delivery of specific major projects in the city.
Emma Morris has over twenty years’ experience of working at a senior level for arts organisations, including overseeing the finances of the £8.5 million capital refurbishment of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea. Morris was until very recently executive director at Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne. Her role there included overseeing the artistic and learning programmes, audience development, marketing, fundraising and all commercial activities.
Katy Fuller commented: “Working on Hull 2017 has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am excited to be working alongside Emma to drive forward the vision for Culture Company and to be able to continue to deliver ambitious projects, which resonate with local audiences and keep Hull in the national and international cultural conversation.”
Emma Morris added: “It’s wonderful to be returning to Hull, where I spent three fantastic years, and to be working with Katy on developing the organisation to take it into the next phase. I have been watching the success of this incredible year for the city and am keen to get started on building on the momentum there is to strengthen its reputation as a centre for culture and creativity.”
Katy will formally begin her new role as Creative Director on January 8. Emma will officially start in her role as executive director on February 1. Current CEO and director Martin Green and executive director Fran Hegyi will leave Culture Company at the end of February. Following Martin’s departure, Katy and Emma will share the role of Chief Executive.
Green commented: “It’s fantastic that Katy and Emma have agreed to lead the new company, building on its role in this momentous year for Hull and taking forward the ambition to help secure a cultural legacy for the city. They are immensely talented and have terrific energy, enthusiasm and creativity, as well as wide-ranging experience of success delivering amazing cultural projects around the country. As we move into the next phase of Hull being UK City of Culture they have the vision and creativity needed to commission exciting cultural programming for the city and develop an influential national arts organisation.”
Culture Company is also recruiting for a new chair to lead the Board of Trustees, when incumbent Rosie Millard steps down at the end of March 2018. This role is being advertised from next week.
Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, commented: “I am delighted with these appointments. Hull’s ability to deliver a world-class cultural programme is a key part of our plans to capitalise on the success of 2017 and deliver a long-lasting legacy for our city and residents.
“One look at their past work and we know that Katy and Emma are ideally placed to lead the new culture company. I look forward to working with them and other partners to cement Hull’s reputation as a great cultural city in 2018 and beyond.”