MEET THE TEAM
Mark Burns Cassell
Mark left his career working in advertising in 2013 and founded MBC, in order to share his love of creative arts with others in the community. At the time Mark had no idea that this initial dream would grow into becoming the successful arts organisation MBC Arts Wellbeing is today. Mark has ambitious plans for the future, and great belief in the company’s potential to facilitate even greater transformational change within the creative economy of Sunderland and beyond. Mark has seen first hand the power of art and wellbeing to effect lasting and lifelong positive change in the lives of others.
When not at work Mark enjoys keeping fit, escaping to the quiet of the countryside, weekends away exploring new places, reading, interior design and being creative.
As Operations officer within MBC Arts Wellbeing, Steven’s role is to liaise between management, tutors and learners to ensure things are running smoothly as a whole in the organisation. Steven is also a qualified teaching assistant, so you may meet him on one of our courses. In his spare time Steven keeps tropical fish, enjoys a glass of red wine and is a keen cook (he does make a very good ragu, we have to say!)
FUNDING MANAGER AND MENTORING OFFICER
Vincent’s role is to research and source new funding opportunities to test out new approaches in the workshop delivery and develop new exciting and experimental projects. Vincent also manages our residency program and open calls / commission opportunities. Vincent also assists tutors when cover is needed. Outside of MBC Arts Wellbeing Vincent is Co-director of Norfolk Street Arts, which manages the studio program across, 28, 29 and 31 Norfolk Street, in partnership with MBC Arts Wellbeing. Vincent’s favourite artists include Helen Chadwick, Van Gogh and Barbara Hepworth and he enjoys traveling far and wide to see new museums and galleries.
ARTS TUTOR AND CONTRACTS MANAGER
Michelle’s role at MBC Arts Wellbeing is two-fold – she is one of the team’s arts tutors and is also our contracts and bookings manager. Michelle has 18 years experience as a teacher and 8 years experience as a manager. Michelle also teaches sewing and dressmaking in her spare time and she is passionate about sharing her skills and knowledge with others. Michelle has this to say about her work at MBC: “I have to say I do love my job at MBC; it is so rewarding to see you have made a difference, whether this be teaching someone a new skill, making new friends or reducing isolation issues. I have (and still do), teach clients from the ages of 14-92. My motto is “you are never too old to learn a new skill!””
As well as being one of our team tutors, Jayne is Co Director of MBC Arts Wellbeing. You will find her out and about teaching across Sunderland and the wider area as well as using her creative skills on community art projects. For Jayne, art is about wellbeing, enjoying the process and having fun being creative! Jayne has a BA Honours degree in Textile Crafts and an MA in Glass. In her spare time Jayne looks for creative things to learn, and recently has even given Bonsai trees a go!
Joy enjoys arts tutoring as it allows her to see confidence and friendships grow alongside art based skills. Joy is also Co Director of Norfolk Street Arts, a community company that works closely alongside MBC Arts Wellbeing in a number of community projects. Joy also has her own business as a textile artist and photographer, Clothworks29, where she is currently using traditional mat making skills to produce textile art pieces.
Family, friends and work colleagues are all hugely important to Joy, as are her garden girls – the hens. There is no better treat than delicious freshly laid eggs from them on a morning with toast!
Frances teaches across many of the courses we offer, and specialises in floristry. Frances loves tutoring arts and wellbeing, as learners can benefit so much from creating and to have a part in that is special. Frances loves letters and typefaces and likes nothing better than a well-wrought serif. In her spare time Frances can be found striding around her local park with her lively, lovable lurcher Cinders.
Margaret has been working at MBC Arts Wellbeing since the beginning, and has seen the company grow and develop over the years into what it is today. Margaret is much loved by our learners and always has a smile and some biscuits on hand for everyone. Margaret turns her hand to almost anything in the company, and during busy times can be found helping out with firings, keeping the learning room tidy and in order, and going over and above to help people out. In her spare time Margaret enjoys sewing and quilting, and she is a member of the Sewing Guild.
TEACHING ASSISTANT AND FIRINGS MANAGER
Paula is our behind-the-scenes firings manager, taking great care to ensure the delicate ceramics made on our courses are fired safely and in one piece. The thing Paula enjoys most about working at MBC is getting to meet lots of people and see them progress throughout their course. In her spare time Paula enjoys doing various crafts and spending time with her family.
Ian helps out at MBC as an assistant and the thing he enjoys most about his work is seeing how art transforms lives. Ian is also a poet and writer, and works on projects across the region in multi platforms, sharing his passion for the written word with others. In his spare time Ian likes to watch Columbo!
Chief of Wellbeing
CHIEF OF WELLBEING
Jasper is our most-loved member of the team; he is never far away from the learning, and enjoys popping in to meet all the lovely people who come through our door and having a look at what everyone is creating during sessions. Jasper is quiet as a mouse, very curious, and very gentle. He is the favourite of all the learners, and has made many friends and brings many smiles to many faces with his lovable characteristics and cheeky antics. Jasper is very loving, and was adopted by director Mark in 2018. Jasper is never far from Mark, and together they spend their workdays in the office, with Jasper greeting visitors and dozing, and weekends exploring the countryside together. Jasper enjoys spending his free time going on walks, snoozing in the sunshine, and playing with his toys.