Jane Bryant pays tribute to those who inspire her
Alan Hacker OBE
I first came across clarinettist and conductor Alan Hacker (who died in April of this year), when I was studying music at the University of Leeds. He was not only a phenomenal performer, but was also the then Sir Robert Mayer Lecturer in Music. I had a number of performance study sessions with him and he was almost unbelievably forthright, challenging and demanding – but entirely inspirational. He taught me the importance of communication in and through music. It was not enough simply to give a ‘good’ performance; it was vital to feel it, commit to it and transfer that passion through the music to the listener. Understanding the importance of communication is something that has benefited me not only in music-making but in all areas of my work since then.
Sir Ken Robinson
Honorary President and founding Chairman of Artswork, Sir Ken Robinson has continued to have a profound influence on my life since I first came across him and his work some 25 years ago. His chairmanship in 1999 of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, which resulted in the ‘All Our Futures’ report, was a seminal moment for all of us working in the field of arts and education. His passion and vision about the value of the arts, creativity and culture in the education and lives of young people and the importance of developing an education system fit for the twenty-first century is combined with an ability to communicate through the use of humour, and continues to be a source of personal inspiration.
Currently Arts Award Development Lead with the Trinity Arts Award team, I have known Diana and worked with her in different ways since the 1990s. Diana was also one of a small group of people who envisioned the Arts Award, piloted it and helped make it happen – which has undoubtedly contributed to the development of young peoples’ enthusiasm for and leadership in the arts since the Award was established seven years ago. What I have learned from Diana through observing her over many years (with her enviable ability to be wise, considered and innovative at the same time) is the difference you can make to both policy and practice through a quietly determined, informed and entirely committed approach. I have long admired her sense of understated calmness combined with great listening skills which always belie a passion and commitment, and result in an absolute ability to influence.
Wisdom is a word I associate with my final guru Stephen Boyce. Stephen was my line manager when I first arrived at Southern Arts and since then we have kept in touch and I have worked with him in different ways. His current role is Chairman of the Southampton Cultural Development Trust, which is responsible for raising funds for Southampton’s new Cultural Quarter. I have learned a lot by observing his ability to chair and shape meetings to achieve clear and informed outcomes. He has a considered approach which enables him to gather contributions, to ‘step outside’ to gain a clear view, to communicate that and then work to achieve consensus. A rare skill and one that I aspire to emulate – but I have a way to go yet!
Jane Bryant is Chief Executive of Artswork, the national, independent youth arts development agency and Bridge organisation in the South East, committed to making a different to the lives of young people at risk.