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Nottingham celebrated in New Year Honours

Two members of The University of Nottingham have been recognised by The Queen in the New Year Honours

Posted by Hannah Vickers | January 14, 2017 | People

Shona Powell, Director of Nottingham Lakeside Arts, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her work in the arts — most notably transforming The University of Nottingham’s arts centre and museum into a major national asset.

Kevin Bales, Professor of Contemporary Slavery in the School of Politics & International Relations, has been appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for his services to the ‘global antislavery movement.’

Shona Powell: Arts underpinned by learning

As a passionate advocate for the arts Shona has engaged with children and families, as well as hard to reach communities, and ensured the programme of activities around productions and exhibitions at Nottingham Lakeside Arts is underpinned by learning.

Her belief in the importance of the youth audience has led her to campaign artists to recognise that any work made for children should be made with the same rigour, commitment and passion shown when creating for an adult audience.

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “Shona believes that a child’s first experience of theatre or dance must be magical and memorable.

“This belief, and her commitment to learning, underpins everything she does, whether this be developing international festivals of theatre and dance for children, such as Wheee!, helping to create new works, mentoring new directors or curating major exhibitions.

“From commissioning to script development and casting, her extensive experience and knowledge of the family is the difference between a show and an experience that many remember for a long time.

“I truly believe that Nottingham Lakeside Arts would not be the highly-regarded facility it is without her dedication and ingenuity. This recognition is richly deserved.”

Shona was appointed the first Director of Nottingham Lakeside Arts in 2002 following a decade-long stint as founding Director of The Lemon Tree, a multi-arts venue in Aberdeen.

Over the next 14 years she grew audiences from 77,000 to almost a quarter of a million, overseeing the curation of major exhibitions like LOWRY and Elizabeth Frink: The Presence of Sculpture. Both drew record audiences and received wide spread national acclaim.

In 2013 Nottingham Lakeside Arts premiered Inside Out of Mind — the result of a collaboration between Professor Justine Schneider in the Institute of Mental Health, Meeting Ground Theatre Company, and Lakeside before a national tour. The project was a finalist in the National Lottery Awards.

This year Shona, who is Chair of MOKO Dance (national consortium of partners concerned to promote high quality dance to young audiences); a founding partner and lead organisation of East Midlands Children’s Theatre Consortium; a Board Member of Cultivate; a member of the Cultural Partnership Executive, Spirit Nottingham; previously Chair of Déda; and a Board Member of The Egalitarian Trust, was named as one of the 100 most influential people in Nottinghamshire in a list compiled by the Nottingham Post.

Shona said: “I am thrilled to receive this honour. However, no individual is solely responsible for the success of any arts initiative, and this also recognises the incredibly talented team — past and present — that I have been lucky to work with at Lakeside, my previous colleagues at The Lemon Tree, and all my colleagues and terrific artists across the regional and national initiatives of which we are part.”

Kevin Bales: ‘A roadmap for slavery’s end’

There are more slaves alive today than in any point in human history. Around the world, 46 million people are forced to work for no pay. But a new anti-slavery movement has responded to this challenge and shown that a world without slavery is possible.

Professor Bales is a leading figure in the anti-slavery movement and has advised numerous governments and UN on trafficking and slavery policy. He has worked closely with public, private, and voluntary sectors to put forward specific policy recommendations, many of them tested in the field or enacted as law.

His book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy has been published in 10 languages. The film version won a Peabody and two Emmys. His research was named one of the ‘100 World-Changing Discoveries of the past 50 years’ by the Association of British Universities. Desmond Tutu has said of his research: “Today we finally have the means to bring millions of slaves to freedom.” Bill Clinton has called his research a roadmap for slavery’s end.

Professor Bales, said: “I am thrilled to be receiving this honour. I am especially thrilled that the global anti-slavery movement is getting this kind of recognition. This is not an honour for me alone, but for all the people who are working towards wiping out slavery.”

For 20 years, local and national antislavery groups have used Professor Bales’ work to guide the rescue and rehabilitation of thousands of enslaved people. He has directed and managed voluntary initiatives and foundations, and has brought together the business community to rid their supply chains of slave labour.

Professor Todd Landman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “The School of Politics and International Relations, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the University are thrilled with Professor Kevin Bales receiving a New Year’s Honours for his lifetime work on studying and combating slavery.

“Professor Bales is a world leading authority on contemporary slavery, is leading our educational programmes on contemporary slavery, and is leading various teams on different research projects on slavery at Nottingham. His global connections and commitment to this important and timely issue are exceptionally strong and hugely inspirational to our staff, students and stakeholders.”

The University of Nottingham is home to the world’s largest group of rights and justice scholars — 700 staff members, 300 postgraduate students and 22 research centres across all five of its faculties joining together as the Research Priority Area in Rights and Justice — giving the University a unique ability to tackle global challenges.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Sir David Greenaway, said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Kevin Bales for this outstanding achievement. The tireless work which Professor Bales does in helping to understand and tackle global slavery is something we can all be extremely proud and I am absolutely delighted it is receiving public recognition in this way.”

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