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.
Lesley is responsible for managing the operational aspects within the business to make sure things run smoothly and efficiently. Lesley came to us from a background as a deputy head in a Primary School to try her hand at something different.
In her spare time Lesley enjoys Pilates, soap-making and yoga. Recently she made a 3-tier soap cake for a baby shower. Her family and friends are extremely important to her and there is nothing Lesley enjoys more than a nice relaxing family holiday somewhere hot!
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.
In addition to this, Vincent manages our residency program and open calls and 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.
Kate has recently joined our team as a tutor. Kate has a background in adult education and creates her own beautiful jewellery. You might have even spotted her at one of the many arts and crafts markets across the North East and further afield.
In her spare time Kate likes to explore her craft by visiting museums and galleries for inspiration. She's a regular playing roller derby and this passion has taken her all over the world.
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.
Jayne is one of our most experienced tutors at MBC. 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!
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.
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.
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.