Appointment: Cockpit Arts appoints Annie Warburton as new CEO

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Cockpit Arts had announced the appointment of Annie Warburton as its new CEO.  After five years as Creative Director of the Crafts Council, Annie will join Cockpit in November.

“Home to some of the foremost makers and designers in the country, Cockpit Arts is a beacon for making at the heart of the capital. I am thrilled to be joining this award-winning social enterprise with its admirable track record of social impact and business success. With craft in the ascendant but pressures on creative businesses intensifying, its mission has never been more vital. I look forward to working with the team to shape an exciting future for Cockpit as London’s major hub for craft.” 
Annie Warburton.

Annie brings substantial knowledge of craft and experience of supporting creative talent. During her tenure at the Crafts Council, 

alongside redeveloping talent and learning programmes, she led the education manifesto Our Future is in the Making, launched at the House of Commons. She initiated the Crafts Council’s innovation programme, including international conference, Make:Shift, directed national and international exhibitions, and co-launched craft film festival Real to Reel.  Previous roles include CEO of ArtsMatrix, and Head of Partnerships at Creative Skillset, where she pioneered apprenticeships in media, fashion and textiles with the BBC, Channel 4 and Mulberry, among others. Annie succeeds Vanessa Swann MBE who led the organisation for fifteen years. 

"Cockpit Arts plays a critical role in supporting and promoting craft in London. The Trustees and I are delighted that Annie Warburton, Creative Director of the Crafts Council and a leading advocate for craft, will lead Cockpit Arts into the next decade as Chief Executive. Her powerful vision for the future, at a time when craft is flourishing despite difficult economic times, is exciting.  I am confident that under her leadership Cockpit Arts will play a leading role, along with our many friends in the sector, in supporting makers both in London and across the UK." Cornelius Medvei, Chairman, Cockpit Arts’ Board of Trustees stated on the appointment.

Annie Warburton is currently Creative Director at the Crafts Council, where she leads on exhibitions, international programmes, education, and research. She also directs the Crafts Council’s innovation programme on intersections between craft, science, technology and industry.

“Annie’s appointment as CEO of Cockpit Arts is brilliant news for the craft sector. Supporting makers has been integral to what the Crafts Council does since 1971. And so, we are delighted that Annie will take her considerable expertise and creativity to lead an organisation renowned for its invaluable support for craft businesses. We look forward to working with Annie and Cockpit in the future.” Added Rosy Greenlees OBE, Executive Director, Crafts Council.

Annie frequently writes, presents and broadcasts on craft, art and design in the UK and internationally.

Annie began her career at the Crafts Council of Ireland. Before joining the UK Crafts Council in 2014, she was CEO of ArtsMatrix and Head of Partnerships at Creative Skillset. She is an Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Image Credits:
Photos by Iona Wolff:
Top – Crafts Council Fair ‘Collect 2018’ L-R Corinne Julius, Annie Warburton, Prue Leith, Rosie Greenlees, Ekow Eshun; 

Annie Warburton.


Rebecca van Rooijen


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