Helena Barrett, Creative Placemaker
Helena works with local residents in Wester Hailes to develop and deliver a programme of regular creative activities, one-off events, and participatory public art installations that respond to local assets and aspirations.
Meghan Bidwell, Arts Engagement Manager (Adults)
Meghan facilitates WHALE Arts’ regular programme of activities for adults. She is responsible for the management and development of the following groups: smART CRAFT, Stitch ‘n’ Time, Drama, Let’s Dance!, the WHALE Community Cinema, and new Music and Visuals group with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She also supports external group the Arty Party, and alongside Helena the Scottish Poetry Library group. Meghan is a member of Creative Edinburgh and Scottish Contemporary Art Network.
Leah Black, Chief Executive
Leah is responsible for WHALE Arts’ strategic and operational development. She oversees all aspects of WHALE’s programming, building, staff, finances, and ensures the organisation achieves its objectives. Leah joined WHALE Arts in April 2018, bringing a wealth of experience in cultural production and strategy as the first Director of Upland in Dumfries and Galloway and latterly as the craft specialist in the Creative Industries team at Creative Scotland. Leah has a background as a maker and is currently a Warden of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh.
Dawn Borthwick, Support Worker and Cleaner
Dawn supports a variety of our adult and young people’s groups. She also makes sure the building in clean and tidy.
Michael Bowdidge, Street Arts Coordinator
Michael is responsible for managing the Street Arts team, programming exciting and innovative creative activities with partner artists, and engaging with young people as part of our award winning Street Arts project.
Kirsty Frankland, Create Development Worker
Kirsty works with Whale Arts and the Tasting Change project team, delivering a range of activities and events designed to engage the community in creative approaches to dignified food provision and skills development opportunities.
Kate Griffin, Creative Programme Manager
Kate manages WHALE Arts’ programme of arts activities for families, children and young people, including creative and strategic development, programming and working with partner organisations and artists to create exciting and engaging arts projects. She is responsible for the following groups: Creative Adventures, LYT: Discover, and Eco smARTies, as well as the holiday programme and WHALE’s exhibition programme.
Anne Monk, Finance Officer
Anne is a qualified chartered accountant, with extensive experience in the private and public sector in accounting and value for money studies including seven years working at OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator. Before joining WHALE Anne was part of the award winning project team establishing Revenue Scotland the Scottish tax administration body.
Jenny Salmean, Receptionist Administrator
Jenny is the first point of contact for visitors and tenants, on the phone or in person. You can contact her if you need to book a room or have an inquiry about WHALE Arts activities. She is responsible for the WHALE Arts website and social media channels.
Craig Tyrie, Community Reporter
Craig writes the majority of content for the Digital Sentinel, the local news website for Wester Hailes, keeping up to date with community news and finding out what’s on in the local area. He runs weekly IT drop-ins, here at WHALE or at Clovenstone Community Centre. He is always on the lookout for local people who are interested in becoming volunteer community reporters and writing their own stories and content for the website.
Edyta Gadzinowska, Erasmus+ Intern