Director, Whitworth Art Gallery
Maria is smart, savvy and fun. She offers a rare combination of vision underpinned by rigorous intellectual thinking, supported by excellent communication and interpersonal skills that motivate all those around her. Under her leadership the Creative Partnerships: Birmingham was one of the most successful of the 16 national pilots; this achievement securing her a place on the first Clore Leadership Fellowship Programme. Her subsequent appointment as one of the youngest Directors of a major regional gallery was recognition of her leadership skills and potential.
Maria’s exemplary application of determination, vision, tact and considerable energy established Creative Partnerships in Birmingham and she is applying these skills, refined by the Clore Leadership Programme, in her work at the Whitworth Art Galley. Responsible for producing a challenging programme, 55 staff and an annual turnover of £3 million, Maria initially focussed on developing the organisation and programme. Now Maria has taken on a major capital development of £12 million and has successfully secured Heritage Lottery Fund Stage One commitment and University backing.
The quality of her intellectual thinking is evident in the books authored between 1999 and 2002; Look for Harlem (Pluto, 2000), Urban Space and Representation (Pluto 1999) and Remaking Birmingham (Spon-Routledge 2004, pp.210 - 234).
Maria stands out because she combines imagination and flair with delivery.