Watershed appoints a new Executive Director

Posted on Tue 30 May 2017
Miriam Randall

Miriam Randall

Watershed is delighted to announce the appointment of Miriam Randall as its first ever Executive Director. Miriam will join the Watershed team in August bringing invaluable expertise gained in her role of Executive Director of Lighthouse in Brighton, where she has been based for the past ten years. Miriam is an exceptionally talented arts executive, with a background in business leadership in contemporary art, film and digital culture organisations.

With a focus on collaboration and partnership, Watershed has cemented a reputation as a leading international cultural centre and creative hub. Championing talent development and inclusive innovation, its venue and programme connecting culture and commerce, and art and technology in Bristol and across the world.

The new position of Executive Director was created to form part of Watershed’s leadership team, with a particular focus on resource development and ensuring that Watershed continues to strike the appropriate balance of cultural and financial resilience.

Dick Penny, Watershed CEO said:

“Miriam’s appointment strengthens our leadership team, enabling us to create new systems and infrastructure necessary for a growing organisation. Miriam’s extensive experience across all areas of cultural management will bring significant knowledge and capacity to Watershed and we are delighted she is joining our team.”

Miriam Randall, incoming Executive Director said:

“Watershed has inspired me for many years as a world leader in film culture and innovation. It is a truly forward thinking organisation, with an exceptionally talented team, and bold plans for the future. I am delighted to be on board at this pivotal time.”

Audiences are at the heart of everything Watershed does, and we judge our success on the quality and quantity of our engagement with people. In the past year our engagement across the city and beyond has grown:

  • Total visitors to Watershed for all purposes 413,404
  • Paid admissions for screenings, talks and events 154,144
  • People engaging with projects beyond Watershed 118,799
  • Loyalty Card members 23,000
  • Twitter followers 68,000
  • Artists and creatives supported 311
  • Website visitors 1,976,407

Developing diverse creative talent, ideas and businesses is an increasing focus for Watershed. Highlights from the last year include:

  • Rife magazine is our flagship youth engagement initiative, working with young people to create content and reach their peers online. In 2015/16 we attracted 108,805 users and young people creating 277 pieces of content.
  • Watershed collaborated with Come The Revolution a collective of black curators, programmers and creatives to produce Black Star Bristol, and led the national Black Star programme which included 60 participating organisations, delivered 380 screenings in 92 different locations, with a ticketed audience of 16,394 across the UK.
  • Unfixed. An international Creative Research project in collaboration with The Australian Network for Art & Technology, Access2Arts and Unlimited which supported ten Australian and UK Deaf and disabled artists to investigate arts, disability and technology.
  • Network for Creative Enterprise (co-funded by ACE and ERDF), we are leading a partnership with The Guild Bath, Knowle West Media Centre, Spike Island and UWE Bristol to support creatives across the West of England to make a sustainable living from their ideas.
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company, Watershed and eight fantastic creative practitioners came together in Stratford-Upon-Avon for a ground-breaking R&D lab. From magic and illusion, to stormy weather and familial forgiveness, the Lab was rooted in the RSC’s 2016 production of The Tempest, created in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios.

 Current development opportunities include:

Discover what's on this week at Watershed here.

More about Miriam Randall...

Miriam is an arts executive from the UK, with a background in business leadership in contemporary art, film and digital culture organisations. As Executive Director of Lighthouse, an international arts and digital culture agency, based in Brighton, she played a key role in driving the organisation forward during a transitional period of growth, developing the business and team to support increasingly ambitious projects, locally, nationally and internationally.

Lighthouse runs Guiding Lights, the UK’s leading film mentoring scheme, delivered BFI Shorts, the multi-award winning production scheme, and has commissioned, produced and exhibited work by internationally renowned artists such as David Blandy, Trevor Paglen, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Metahaven and Lynette Wallworth.

Miriam joined Lighthouse in 2007, leading the team to establish the venue as a hub for the arts and creative industries, diversifying the business model and co-developing projects such as Lighthouse’s art and technology Studio and Brighton Digital Festival CIC. She is passionate about inclusive learning and culture change, and recently led the development and launch of Last Dance, a professional development programme that supports Elijah, an international grime DJ and promoter, to join Lighthouse as Associate Artistic Director until June 2018.

Before joining Lighthouse, Miriam developed front of house services at the Gardner Arts Centre, a theatre, café bar and contemporary art gallery in Brighton, which re-launched in 2016 as Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. She holds a Fine Art degree from the University of Brighton, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Sussex.