TVA Announces New CEO

James Beighton

TVA, which is committed to the impact of art for individuals and communities across North East England, has appointed a renowned local arts practitioner with an international network as its new Director and CEO.

James Beighton, an arts scholar and curator from Saltburn-on-Sea, will lead us forward, replacing long-serving CEO Rowena Sommerville. James worked as Senior Curator at the prestigious Plus-Tate gallery the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) for 12 years where his role included securing the funding, planning and staging a far-reaching programme of world-renowned exhibitions from international contemporary artists as well as public engagement work both with visitors inside the gallery and out in the communities around Middlesbrough.

James left mima in 2014 to undertake a doctoral study examining the history of the visual arts in Teesside. During this time, he also established ‘New Linthorpe’ an exciting project with artist Emily Hesse to recapture the spirit of one of the most important artists in the Aesthetic Movement, Christopher Dresser, whose creations were realised in the Victorian kilns of Middlesbrough’s Linthorpe Art Pottery. Using local clay, the project created a new pottery collection while highlighting the town’s social history and inviting visitors to its exhibition and pottery-making workshops to explore the concept of locality.

In his new role as Director of TVA James will be working with artists and makers across all art forms – from visual arts, to music, to performance. He will work closely with funding, business and public service partners to engage diverse audiences across the Teesside community and address issues including environment, heritage, health and wellbeing, poverty, crime & justice, addiction, and asylum – often working with some of the region’s most vulnerable residents. TVA partners the likes of Teesside University, the Ministry of Justice, the NHS, and environmental agencies, but is also supporting the ambitions of the Tees Valley Combined Authority to bid for UK City of Culture 2025 and working closely to align its work with the strategy of Arts Council England and other key national government and funding partners.

James said:

“This is a truly exciting time to be involved with the arts in Tees Valley. I believe that art and culture form a fundamental part of everybody’s lives. It is a force for good in the world, helping to break down barriers, build confidence and aspiration and capturing the energy and pride of our region’s diverse communities. It’s a privilege to be able to continue my career with an organisation like Tees Valley Arts in a part of the world that I think of as home and I look forward to working with all of the partners and artists to extend TVA’s impact in the years ahead.”

The Chairman of TVA’s Board of Trustees, Richard Anderson, welcomed James’ appointment:

“We are delighted to have secured someone of James’ calibre with such a strong reputation in the arts regionally, nationally and internationally. His work at mima, throughout the TATE gallery network, his PhD study and his inspirational work as an arts practitioner in our region will inform his work as Director, building on the impressive legacy of impact and reach led by Rowena Sommerville and our current team.”

James will take up post from the 1 August, working from TVA’s office at Royal Middlehaven House in Middlesbrough.

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TVA CEO announces her departure

Fertile Minds
Mural at CF Fertilisers by Adrian Moule (2016)

I am altogether sad, happy and a little apprehensive as I announce that I will be stepping down as CEO of Tees Valley Arts this summer.

I first joined TVA back in 1999, when it was Cleveland Arts, and have worked for the organisation in a variety of roles, becoming CEO in 2008. I believe in what TVA does, and along with our Board and our staff and partners, we passionately believe that taking part in the arts can change lives. I have always believed in the good, old-fashioned notion of cultural entitlement – that a society’s culture should belong to everyone in that society, and should never be just for an elite.

I often say that TVA works with ‘every misery known to man’, and that is true, but what TVA does with that misery is to lighten it with joy, to support confidence, and to help people feel proud of what they can achieve, often with talents they never even suspected that they had. That is work to boast about and celebrate – truly the art of changing lives.

As for myself, I am intending to change my life by re-engaging with the creative talents that I used to have, so you can expect to come across me somewhere about the place, singing, drawing and writing poetry.

I wish TVA, and the new CEO who will pick up the baton from me, all the very best for the future. I think that the cultural future of the Tees Valley looks more positive now than it has done for years, and I hope to see TVA playing a very significant part in that, just as it has played its part for many years, through some very lean times.

Thank you to all the colleagues, artists, participants and friends that it has been my pleasure to work with. See you around!


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TVA CEO Recruitment

Hours: 0.8 FTE: 4 days per week
Salary: (pro rata £40,000) = £32,000 per annum
Reporting to: TVA Board of Directors

Tees Valley Arts: The Art of Changing Lives

TVA is a participatory arts organisation based in Middlesbrough, working across the Tees Valley and beyond; the organisation champions participation in high-quality creative activities as a tool for improving the quality of life and learning for individuals and communities, especially those facing life’s challenges.

Our ambition to 2022 is to be nationally recognised and supported for the transformative impact of our work in the community; to grow our core staff team; diversify and grow our income; and, to expand our reach across the North of England. To achieve this, we will build on our current relationships with our key funding partners, with the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Ministry of Justice, and by continuing to engage in the Tees Valley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2025.

Summary of Role

TVA seeks a dynamic and ambitious new CEO to lead the organisation in an exciting period of growth and transition. The successful candidate will be a key ambassador on a regional and national level for TVA, embodying our values and offering a blend of creative leadership, strategic thinking, and strong management with experience in community and participatory arts, fundraising and income generation, and partnership working.

Job Description & Person Specfication

Download (PDF, 98KB)

Application Information

The application process comprises of the completion of two forms: the Personal Details Form and the Job Application Form, both of which must be submitted by email for your application to be accepted.

Application Form

Download (DOCX, 437KB)

Download (DOCX, 416KB)

Important Dates

Application Deadline: Midday, Monday 8th May 2017
Selection: Tuesday 9th May 2017
Interviews: Tuesday 16th May 2017

How to Submit your Application

Email applications to:

Further Information

You are able to find further information about TVA on our website, please see the links below:

TVA Strategic Plan
TVA Annual Report & Accounts
TVA Projects
TVA Board Member Profiles
TVA Staff Member Profiles

For any technical problems with the form, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Neal at

For any additional enquiries about the role, please contact Rowena Sommerville, TVA CEO, on +44 (0) 1642 264 651 or by email at

Filed under: News, Opportunities

Evie’s Work Experience

I am a student at CCAD studying towards my degree in Fine Art and today I have been at work experience here at Tees Valley Arts. My day started off with me looking at the website and listing what I thought was both good and what could be improved. I listed that I thought that the website was great and that it is interesting to look at, there is plenty of information about the organisation and the images show the range of work that Tees Valley provide.

My next job was to go through the quotes that a range of people had said about TVA because I suggested that the testimonials page of the website was important and the quotes needed to be alongside the work of the projects. After looking through many quotes, I have a much wider view of just how much TVA helps the Tees Valley region through art.

Another skill that I have gained today from my work experience is editing on a website. I found this really useful because it is a skill that I will need as a way to display my work to a wider audience and get my practice started.

I have found my work experience today very helpful with my career aspirations, as it has given me a look into the type of work associated with arts management, and Tees Valley Arts have given me more knowledge and a better understanding of what arts management is all about.

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Tees Valley officially a Great Place

Tees Valley Combined Authority has secured £1.5 million as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England Great Place scheme to fund activities which will put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of the community.

We’re simply delighted to be part of the successful Greater Places bid led by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, which will engage people across the sub-region. We look forward to starting our two projects, Real Tees Valley and Five Rivers, which will work with young people and diverse communities in all five boroughs.

Michael Lavery, Vice Chair of Tees Valley Arts

Read the official Press Release

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mima’s 10th Anniversary

Who remembers mima being built? The TVA team do! Since it sits just behind our old office we were able to watch the structure shoot up, to bring culture to the local area. In honour of its ten year anniversary and in homage to mima’s How We Got To This celebration. We decided to share our photographs of the art galleries construction. Hope everyone enjoys this Throwback Thursday! We certainly love a bit of nostalgia.

If you would like to know more about the upcoming How We Got To This event, visit mima’s website here

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Occupational Therapy Placement

Thorntree Roses Bloom Student OTs

Hi, my name is Lucy and I’ve come to work at Tees Valley Arts for 6 weeks as a part of my Occupational Therapy degree. This placement is classed as role emerging, aiming to create a role for occupational therapy in an organisation that doesn’t already have an Occupational Therapist present. So far, both myself and my placement partner Richelle have been welcomed into the team, and we have had the opportunity to participate in a number of activities – both artistic and not so artistic.

We have had the privilege of attending the Thorntree Roses group on a Tuesday, which seems very successful in creating a close-knit community (women only of course). This group is also starting to show signs of increased independence and organisational responsibilities, which is fantastic! It is hoped that this group will continue to progress in this area, so that it may become an independent group run project with only small amounts of input from TVA in the future.

I think we were both surprised to find out about the huge volume of work that goes on behind the scenes to run these projects! As a part of our placement, we hope to look into how all of this works, and whether we can add anything to improve on these methods from an occupational therapy perspective. A number of ideas have already been raised for a project, including outcome measures and feedback methods. It’s still early days in this placement and I certainly look forward to getting stuck in with these potential ideas, as well as getting involved with ‘Making Time’ in the prison!

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Music Leader Sought for Worldbeaters

Tees Valley Arts is seeking a musician to recruit, support and develop a group of people from newly arrived communities, with a view to a performance during Refugee Week (w/c 19th June). The ‘Worldbeaters’ project is supported by legacy funding from the Northern Rock Foundation.


The Worldbeaters project will use music to identify and bring together a group of people (c6 -10 persons) from diverse and newly arrived communities, to support them to develop their music/ song-writing/ performance skills, so that they can perform their ‘piece/s’ at a TVA event (details and date tbc) during Refugee Week (19 – 25th June 2017).

It is vital that the project is open, welcoming and inclusive; that people in difficult and vulnerable circumstances are supported and made to feel welcome; that participants and workers from other organisations who support them are treated with respect; and that everyone taking part is able to grow in confidence, as individuals and as a collaborative group.

Duration: Please see brief for timetable
Fees: £4,000

Application Information

To Apply

Please send your CV (no more than TWO sides of A4) and a letter of application (no more than ONE side of A4) that states your relevant experience and suitability for the role.

Please note:

  • You will be responsible for your own transport to sessions and meetings.
  • You will need to provide evidence of public liability insurance at the point of the awarding of contract.


Your application must arrive by 10am Tuesday 28th February 2017.

Send applications to:

Rowena Sommerville
Tees Valley Arts
Royal Middlehaven House
21 Gosford Street

Or email to:

Please note: email applications are preferred.

Selection will be made Tuesday 28th February 2017. (TVA may hold interviews on Friday 3rd March if we think it’s necessary).

For any further information, please contact Rowena Sommerville, TVA CEO, on 01642 264 655 or


Download (PDF, 69KB)

Filed under: News, Opportunities

Success with Grow your Tenner Campaign

Grow your Tenner


If you weren’t already aware, we took part in Local Giving’s Grow Your Tenner campaign 2016, where if you had donated £10 to us then they would double it to £20 and/or if were able to donate it monthly they would double the first three months so the £30 becomes £60. Additionally, if you were aware of another charity who would have liked to take part, then if they clicked a link, both TVA and they would get an extra £10 donation. The campaign lasted until the cash had run out or 16th November, which was then extended to the 28th November.

We would like to thank everyone who kindly gave donations and from this, we are pleased to announce the success of this campaign for Tees Valley Arts where we have raised a total of £477.59! This is then doubled by our Arts Council England Evolve funding, meaning donations came to £1,066.03 (or 1% of our annual core budget).

This is a fantastic amount and shows that no matter the size of the donation, one £2 donation was increased to £8.51 inc match and gift aid, so it can all contribute to an amount that has the power to make a significant difference!

To read more about Local Giving’s Grow your Tenner Campaign, click here

If you’d like to consider supporting Tees Valley Arts then though Grow your Tenner has now finished our Evolve funding runs until August 2019 and it would double your donation. For our donation page, click here

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Music Leader sought for HM Prison Residency

Tees Valley Arts is seeking a music leader to work in HM Prison Holme House to offer prisoners creative activities, to help them develop new skills, personal confidence and positive ways of passing the time.

Holme House Prison:

Holme House is a prison for men of 18 years and over. It is a ‘closed’ site, meaning that there are high levels of security controls both at the entrance and within the setting. HH holds over a thousand prisoners, serving varied sentence terms.

Holme House residency: (1 dpw – Thursdays)

HH Music (May – Jun 17) 7 weeks, 2 sessions per day

Duration: Please see brief for timetable
Fees: Please see brief for fees

Application Information

To Apply

Please send your CV (no more than TWO sides of A4) and a letter of application (no more than ONE side of A4) that states your relevant experience and suitability for the role.

Please note:

  • You must be able to attend EVERY session and meet deadlines outlined in brief.
  • You will be responsible for your own transport to sessions and meetings.
  • You will need to provide evidence of public liability insurance at the point of the awarding of contract.
  • You must abide by all HM Prisons Health, Safety and Safeguarding policies and regulations when on their premises
  • You must abide by all HM Prisons Security and Vetting requirements


Your application must arrive by 5pm Tuesday 29th November 2016.

Send applications to:

Miki Rogers
Tees Valley Arts
Royal Middlehaven House
21 Gosford Street

Or email to:

Please note: email applications are preferred.

Selection will be made Wednesday 30th November 2016 (TVA may hold interviews on Thursday 1st December if we think it’s necessary).

For any further information, please contact Miki Rogers, Project Manager, 01642 264654 or (Wednesdays and Thursdays only) or Rowena Sommerville, TVA CEO, on 01642 264 655 or


Project Context

Download (PDF, 87KB)

Music Leader Residency Brief

Download (PDF, 237KB)

Filed under: Making Time, News, Opportunities, Projects