Counterculture is pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Watson as a Partner. With a CV that includes senior roles at Lakeland Arts, National Galleries of Scotland and The Tetley Contemporary Art Gallery, Helen is an experienced arts and heritage professional, with over 25 years of experience working in the sector combining strategic and artistic leadership in commercial, charity and national organisations.
On her new role as a Counterculture Partner, Helen says: “My relationship with Counterculture started over a decade ago and I have continued to reach out to them for invaluable support at pivotal times, the partnership have always provided expert advice and insight based on solid knowledge and extensive experience of the arts and cultural sector. I am thrilled to become a partner of such a dynamic and talented team.”
Welcoming Helen Watson to Counterculture, the partnership’s President, Lord Tom Watson, comments: “As Counterculture continues to cement its reputation as the go-to strategic consultancy for the cultural sector in the UK and beyond, we are delighted to have someone of Helen’s experience joining our expanding team and I am very pleased to welcome her on board.”
As Director of Programming from 2008 until 2019 at Lakeland Arts, a leading cultural organisation which manages Abbot Hall Art Gallery & Lakeland Museum in Kendal, Blackwell The Arts & Crafts House and the Windermere Jetty Museum, Helen led the curatorial and learning teams creating opportunities for all to access art and culture. During her Directorship she continued to build upon Abbot Hall’s reputation as one of the leading galleries in the north exhibiting twentieth-century British art alongside some of the world’s greatest artists. She was also involved in the National Lottery Heritage Fund capital development of the Windermere Jetty.
Helen has held a number of leadership roles including Deputy Head of Education at the National Galleries of Scotland, Director at The Tetley Contemporary Art Gallery, Leeds and Co-Director at Signal Film and Media, Barrow-in-Furness. Within her career Helen has established an excellent reputation for leading high profile artistic and participation programmes with regional and national partnerships including Tate, National Gallery London and National Galleries of Scotland. She has also led on the development of strategic cultural strategies and organisational change.
Helen was the Art Fund Fellow of the Clore Fellowship Leadership Programme in 2018 and is a trained Coach. She has an MA in Museum Studies from Leicester University and has been an Associate of the Museums Association since 2007. Previously held trustee positions include: ‘engage’, National Association for Gallery Education; Peter Scott Gallery; Lancaster University and Signal Film and Media.