Thank You Sheila!

Over 21 years ago Sheila Ceccarelli and Paula Briggs, friends from the Royal College of Art, sat down together to write a funding bid to create a new organisation: AccessArt.

Our vision was to create a platform to support and inspire visual arts education. 21 years later, the AccessArt website is a rich and inclusive place with over 900 resources, 6000 members and 13000 subscribers. We are proud that through our membership model we are now a self-sustaining arts organisation with a committed team and board of trustees.

Sheila and Paula have worked closely and with passion over those years, sharing our excitement, dedication and experience.

It is with sadness therefore, but also an enormous amount of pride, that we have to announce that Sheila has decided to move aside as co-director of the organisation. Her energy and commitment will be greatly missed, but Sheila’s influence will continue in all that we do going forward.

“It’s been the most wonderful journey and such a huge privilege to work with so many inspiring people over the years.

I would especially like to thank the trustees for their steadfast support and Andrea whose commitment to AccessArt and input both creatively and as the membership secretary has been essential to its stability, growth, and success. Also, thanks to Rachel, and Irina for their enthusiasm, energy, and dedication.

Last, but not least, a huge thank you to Paula. I have been immensely lucky to work alongside such a talented friend for so long and am deeply excited about AccessArt’s future under Paula’s stewardship. I know that AccessArt will continue to be a beacon of inspiration to our existing members and also inspire the next generation of teachers, educators, and artists as it continues to grow. I will be following closely and always consider myself as the charity’s closest friend with its values in my heart.” Sheila Ceccarelli, November 2020.

Paula will continue as Director, supported by the Trustees and AccessArt team of Andrea, Rachel and Irina. We have exciting plans for 2021 and we look very forward to continuing our journey.

The AccessArt Founders’ Prize

To celebrate 21 years of passion and commitment to arts education, and as a way of showing the organisation’s gratitude for the huge amount of work and commitment that Sheila has dedicated to the cause, we will be launching The AccessArt Founders’ Prize. Sheila has been the ultimate enabler; her enthusiasm and gentle nurturing gave such support to the teachers, educators and carers, making sure that they felt enabled to help the learners in their care reach their creative potential.
We see it as fitting that The AccessArt Founders’ Prize represents the values that Sheila holds so dear to her heart.

Further details about the Founders’ Prize will be available early in 2021.

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