Many of you in the Ignite Chelmsford Community will have bumped into Katie Deverell, who as Cultural Partnerships Manager at Chelmsford City Council, has steered, bought together, nurtured, and loved the city’s creative community over the last 2 years. Supporting us all through a pandemic, connecting us during Essex 2020 (a year of Science & Creativity) and acting as a catalyst behind too many a project to list.
Today is Katie’s final day with my team and I didn’t want it to pass without recognising her incredible contribution. I believe we’ll see the impact of her work for a long time.
From taking on and developing the Ignite Chelmsford Collaborative Hub, transforming it into a vital life blood of positive can-do energy. An essential touch point for those growing a seed of a new or established idea. There is no doubt this has been a triumph and will see a lasting legacy — it is essential as a community we adopt and continue to build on her work.
As her Manager, Katie’s strategic brain, and unwavering multi-disciplinary attitude, cross-sector outlook and collaborative spirit has continually stretched and constructively challenged my thinking — extending not just across our Cultural Services Department but the wider authority too.
Finally (but not exhaustively), it’s important to highlight a few things Katie has driven quietly behind the scenes too. Things that you might not see the result of for a little while…
From a soon to be published narrative and identity statement which she has expertly instigated, sensitively briefed and led. Balancing the need for stakeholder voice and representation, while gently moving things towards a delivery on our commitment…
….to public art commissions celebrating our treasured waterways, and a feasibility study exploring the opportunity and need for community owned creative space at the heart of our city. I am really looking forward to seeing where these things go.
The list could go on and on and, for this reason, I didn’t want her leaving to pass without proper recognition.
Katie has agreed to stay on as an Ignite Chelmsford Cultural Partner and hopefully, we will continue to bump into her at various community gatherings and cultural happenings. If you do, please join me in wishing her well and giving her a high five, a drink, a hug or a big thanks — some much-deserved gratitude for a fantastic contribution.