Counterculture Partnership LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of two new partners. Joining an expanding team of partners at Counterculture, which exists to provide support for cultural, educational and creative organisations to plan, manage and thrive, are Louise Hutchinson and Sharon Armstrong-Williams.
Louise Hutchinson, who also takes on the role of CEO, has two decades’ worth of experience providing both strategic and artistic leadership in the cultural sector. Meanwhile, Sharon Armstrong-Williams has over twenty-five years of leadership and management experience in the cultural, local government and higher education sectors.
Welcoming the two new Partners, Counterculture President, Tom Watson, comments: “This is an exciting time for Counterculture and a crucial time for the cultural sector. Louise and Sharon each bring a wealth of talent, experience and creativity to Counterculture as we expand our offer to both new and existing clients. I am absolutely delighted to be welcoming both as partners.”
On taking up her new role as Partner and CEO, Louise Hutchinson says: “Having worked with Counterculture for many years, I know first-hand just how talented the people are working here and the breadth of invaluable support it offers across the arts, public and business sectors. It’s an honour to be joining the company as a Partner and CEO during this period of expansion, and I very much look forward to supporting the team in developing an exhibitions and projects offer for the UK and overseas, alongside expanding Counterculture’s work and presence in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.”
Sharon Armstrong-Williams adds: “I’ve long admired the work of Counterculture and its ability to create significant impact across the sector, in the UK and beyond. The diversity, extensive knowledge, insight and authenticity of the team are extraordinary, and I’m delighted and very proud to join them as a Partner.”
About Louise Hutchinson:
Louise has 20 years of experience in the visual arts sector combining strategic and artistic leadership with strong project management and business planning acumen. As the Director of S1 Artspace for 15 years, Louise led the organisation through a period of substantial change and growth in its ambition to establish a new cultural venue for arts, culture and heritage in Sheffield. Securing funds from HM Treasury to develop the project to RIBA stage 3 with architectural practice Carmody Groarke and a Levelling Up Fund grant to commence delivery, Louise will continue to support the development of the capital project.
Through her curatorial practice, Louise has supported artists to work in new and ambitious ways through a multi-disciplinary approach to programming and created pivotal opportunities for artists to gain wider recognition and opportunities to develop their practice.
Louise was a Director of Art Sheffield from 2006-2013, a city-wide consortium of leading visual arts venues across the city that delivered the Art Sheffield Festivals and projects across the city and Europe – including the Istanbul Biennale, Documenta and Venice Biennale – to further the presence and awareness of visual arts in Sheffield.
Since 2019, Louise has been a Board Member of the Sheffield Culture Collective; an Arts Council supported Cultural Compact, which developed and launched a new city-wide strategy for culture in 2021, which Sheffield City Council will formally adopt in autumn 2022.
Louise was a fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme 2005-16 and has an MA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London and MA Arts Management from Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge.
About Sharon Armstrong-Williams:
Sharon works with a range of clients in the areas of, strategy and business development, commercial sustainability, organisational change, leadership development and executive coaching. With over 25 years’ experience of leadership and management in the cultural sector, local government and higher education, she has worked with a range of stakeholders, art forms and scale of organisation. From independent artists and culture professionals, small independent creative businesses and charities, to medium scale and national institutions and bodies, both in the UK and abroad.
For over 10 years, Sharon led one of the foremost leadership interventions within the cultural sector, the Clore Fellowship Programme, developing senior leaders from across the world. As Public Engagement Fellowship Monitor at the Wellcome Trust, she oversaw the Trust’s multi-million-pound investment in international Public Engagement leaders bridging the gap between science, health, academia and the arts.
With a background as an artist and designer, Sharon has a strong belief in the cultural sector and the power of creativity and art to disrupt, enrich and shape society. For her, spotting and nurturing individual potential is key to developing leadership and recognises that the real power to make a difference comes from leaders who know themselves, understand and appreciate difference and are equipped to lead courageously, strategically and authentically with creativity, vision and resilience. A certified Coach and NLP practitioner she has led the assessment of over 2,500 international cultural leaders, interviewed in excess of 1,000 and recruited over 300 leaders from across the breadth of the cultural sector.
Her current portfolio includes a number of organisational development projects with clients including the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA); the Eden Project and De La Warr Pavilion; and cultural strategy development for Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council.
She has worked in partnership with the majority of funders and national institutions in the UK including, Arts Council England; the National Lottery Heritage Fund; British Council; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Arts and Humanities Research Council; the BBC; British Museum; and Tate among others.
Sharon has a background as an artist, designer, arts manager and academic; having lectured at undergraduate and postgraduate level in arts management and marketing; and is an advisory committee member of The Point, Eastleigh. She is also a ceramicist and painter.