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New Director For Richard Attenborough Centre

Louisa Milburn - Credit: Geoff Wilson

New Director For Richard Attenborough Centre

Louisa Milburn, former Deputy Chief Executive of ViVA: the orchestra of the East Midlands has taken up post as Director of the University of Leicester's Richard Attenborough Centre.

Built in 1997 and opened by Diana, Princess of Wales, the Richard Attenborough Centre is based on campus at the University and combines an extensive range of short-courses in the arts with a programme of events and exhibitions. The Centre won an award for its innovative design that ensures that it is completely accessible to all users enabling participants with disabilities to be involved in all areas of its work.

Louisa has just completed the Clore Leadership Programme: an initiative designed to give experience and opportunities to emerging leaders within the arts and cultural sector. Only 26 fellows were chosen from an extremely competitive field of over 650 applications. Louisa was the only Fellow selected from this region and her fellowship was sponsored by Culture East Midlands through the East Midlands Development Agency.

The programme was tailor-made and offered many opportunities to gain considerable intensive experience; from working within the Senior Management Team at The Lowry, Gt. Manchester, to spending part of the summer shadowing the BBC's Press and Marketing Team during the Proms.

Louisa commented:

"My career path to date has been both exciting and varied. Beginning with a solid grounding in amateur youth music-making and continuing on to a degree in music, I soon realised that my passion was not necessarily about the personal creation of an art-form, but the ability to 'make it happen' or enable others to do so in the broadest way possible."

"I began with the UK's only horse-drawn theatre company and went on to work with various arts organisations across the country, including venues, festivals and performance-based companies."

"I joined the management team at ViVA: the orchestra of the East Midlands in 1999, initially as Education Manager and then taking the role of Deputy Chief Executive. My year as Clore Fellow: East Midlands has given me some amazing opportunities and enabled me to learn from leaders who have really made an impact in the arts world. I have especially enjoyed working with former Culture Secretary the Rt. Hon. Lord Smith of Finsbury who is director of the Clore Leadership Programme as well as Controller of the BBC Proms, Nicholas Kenyon, who was my mentor throughout the year. Chris Smith visited the Richard Attenborough Centre in May 1999 to open the Centre's Sensory Garden and I look forward to welcoming him back to one of our events in the near future."

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to re-energise and raise the profile the work of the Richard Attenborough Centre, by continuing to offer high quality short courses in a wide-range of arts subjects and building a new exciting programme of events that will attract a broad audience to the centre. Disability arts will continue to remain a positive focus of our work."

"Enrolment for the Spring Term is now open and our courses are designed to cater for all levels of experience. Our events programme begins with world-renowned percussion Quartet 4-Mality on 27th January and a new exhibition by Iraq-born artist Satta Hashem that runs from 11 January - 16 February."

"Lord Attenborough continues to offer his support to the Centre and I am thrilled to be able to work with someone of such experience, skill and passion."

Professor John Benyon, Director of Lifelong Learning, said:

"We are delighted that Louisa Milburn will be joining us to take forward the work of the Richard Attenborough Centre. She comes to us with a track record of innovation and is committed to reaching out to old and new groups of people who can participate in the trail-blazing work of the Centre. She is energetic and dynamic and will be an excellent new member of the lifelong learning team."

University of Leicester Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Burgess added:

"The Richard Attenborough Centre provides a superb venue for arts events of all types, including concerts, dance events and exhibitions. Since its opening it has welcomed musicians and artists of international acclaim, complementing its varied programme of classes and short courses. We are delighted that someone of Louisa Milburn's calibre will be leading the Centre on to even greater heights in the future. She is a 'great catch' for the Centre and the University."
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