Esme Ward

Esme is Head of Learning and Engagement at Manchester Museum and the Whitworth, at the University of Manchester where she has led the growth of learning and public programmes to include adult award-winning health and culture, early years and age friendly work. She was one of the core project team who led the transformation programme at the Whitworth.

She has taught widely, including MA in Arts Management and Museology for several years. She is also the strategic Culture Lead for Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, working across regional cultural organisations and public health to develop work by, with and for older people. She was one of the expert authors on the Prime Minister’s Champion Group on the Arts Guide to Dementia Friendly Culture and sits on several national and regional education, health and culture boards and networks.

She is a Fellow of the RSA and was recently awarded a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellowship 2016-17. As part of her fellowship, she was on secondment to the Heritage Lottery Fund, exploring how to support and catalyse new heritage activity and activism within communities. She is particularly interested in the reach and social purpose of museums and heritage and how to develop a different role for culture in public life.