The Chief Executive of WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes is a finalist in the Scottish Women’s Awards for her Contribution to Arts and Culture this week.  Leah Black who took over in April 2019 was previously Director of Upland in Dumfries and Galloway.

Leah Black who joined WHALE Arts in April 2019 PHOTO Oliver Benton

The Scottish Women’s Awards 2019 now in their third year recognise and celebrate Scottish female talent. They provide women power-houses and organisations with influential and hardworking women making a change in industries across Scotland a platform to be appreciated. Finalists have been shortlisted based on public nominations.

The awards will be held in Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wednesday 28 August 2019. They will highlight the achievements of women in many roles across sectors of industry. These include business, sport, technology, management and charity. 

Black is responsible for WHALE Arts’ strategic and operational development and oversees all aspects of the business.

Leah Black, Chief Executive of WHALE Arts said:“I’m delighted to be a finalist in the category Contribution to Arts and Culture. I look forward to attending the ceremony in Glasgow and meeting other nominees who work in the sector and champion the arts too. WHALE Arts is at an exciting point with the development of a pop-up café in the building, ongoing arts programmes for all ages and abilities in the local community and the pending release of our 5-year Strategic Plan which will take us into 2024.”

WHALE Arts is a social enterprise and charity launched in 1992 as Wester Hailes’ community centre for Arts, Leisure and Education. In 2000 the WHALE Arts centre opened and includes an arts workshop, performance space, community kitchen, creché and board room that local community groups and organisations use. Local artist practitioners support and lead art programmes with partner organisations including Edinburgh Art Festival and local residents in Wester Hailes.

Leah joined WHALE Arts in April 2018 and has experience in cultural production and strategy and held previous roles as the first Director of Upland in Dumfries and Galloway and Craft Specialist at Creative Scotland. She has a background as a maker and is currently a Warden of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Creative Oceanic said: “We’re delighted to bring the Women’s Awards back to Scotland for the third year, and are sure this year will provide its fair share of brilliant talent and inspiration. We’re excited to reward inspirational role models for the next generation of girls set to smash the patriarchy. Best of luck to all finalists, we look forward to celebrating with you soon.”