We are thrilled to announce that Sonja Kielty has stepped up as interim Chair following the departure of Dr Julia Calver from the role earlier this year.
Sonja has been a Saltaire Inspired trustee since 2020. She joined us during lockdown, at a time when her day job with Bradford Council moved to home working. Sonja saw being part of Saltaire Inspired as an opportunity to get more involved with community-based arts activity, and with local people who are incredibly invested in their local area.
Sonja said: “Over the next three years and beyond, Saltaire Inspired will be a key part of Bradford’s art and cultural experience in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. With my experience of heading civic gallery exhibitions, events and skills development programmes within the arts and heritage sector, I aim to work with the charity’s other trustees, freelancers, volunteers and the residents of Saltaire and Shipley to ensure Saltaire Inspired continues to grow, develop and diversify its unique and strong offer.”
Sonja worked for many years as Head of Exhibitions and Events at several universities and local authority museums but, three years ago, took on a new role with Bradford Council, Volunteer Apprenticeships Manager, supporting skills and workforce development in museums and galleries She is passionate about sharing her experience and passing on the baton to the next generation of cultural professionals – including within Saltaire Inspired.
Sonja added: “The incredible achievements of Saltaire Inspired to date are something to be proud of. We are ready to build upon the City of Culture 2025 and our funding from Bradford Metropolitan District Council. We are in a position to explore expanding our reach within the district and to develop further our strong art, craft, design and engagement activity.
“I want Saltaire Inspired to exemplify what a charitable arts organisation should be – high footfall, high quality design and arts offer, great interaction with local communities and international partners and – above all – innovative, exciting and must-go experiences for culture lovers.”