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Uni duo judged “Women to watch”

15 Mar 2010

Two women from The University of Manchester are among the country’s 50 “Women to watch”, after a vote by a distinguished panel of judges for the Government funded Cultural Leadership Programme.

Maria Balshaw ansd Ruth  Daniel
Maria Balshaw ansd Ruth Daniel

Maria Balshaw - Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and Ruth Daniel, who runs the In Place of war network were chosen by a panel including Choreographer Wayne McGregor, broadcaster Jenni Murray and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah.

They received the awards at a special CLP reception in at the Royal Institute of British Architects last week in front of prominent figures from the media, arts and politics.

Dr Balshaw, who  manages  55 staff and an annual turnover of £3 million was appointed as Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery in June 2006.

She has an academic background, publishing books and essays on African-American urban culture, gender, and visuality and visual cultures of urban regeneration.

In 2002 she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2004 a Fellow of the inaugural Clore Cultural Leadership Programme.

She  said: “I'm delighted to be selected as one of the inaugural Women to Watch, a huge honour having thrived during my career on the support and encouragement from other extraordinary women in our sector.

“The particular challenge and creativity of the cultural sector needs a different kind of leadership and though not exclusively the terrain of women, I think our sector really can allow women to excel in all sorts of non conformist ways.”

As well as managing the University’s respected in Place of War Network, Ruth Daniel runs a DIY independent record label Fat Northerner and international music events programme Un-Convention.

In Place of War is based at the University’s school of Arts Histories and Cultures, which researches theatre and performance in places of crisis and armed conflict both abroad and in the UK.

She said: “I’m delighted to win this award - and would like to thank all my colleagues at the University for their support over the years.

“My experience at the University has been invaluable to my success and  I have learnt so much from colleagues and had complete support for all of my endeavors.

“I have enjoyed working on interesting, important and cutting edge research projects and this experience feeds into everything I do.”

Notes for editors

Images of Ruth Daniel and Maria Balshaw are available

They are available for interview

For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567