Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning

I have worked in participatory arts for the last 17 years with a wide variety of arts and community organisations managing, coordinating and delivering arts activity, training, mentoring and resources to a broad range of peers and participants. I have particular interest in and experience of working with more marginalised groups and individuals, using the arts to build confidence and explore self-expression as well as developing creative ways to support participant’s genuine involvement in shaping projects and programmes. Below is a selection of projects I’ve been involved with recently.
Clients include:
  • Engage – the National Association for Gallery Education
  • The National Trust
  • Derby University
  • Nottinghamshire County Council Arts Service
  • Mantle Arts
  • Double Impact
  • Charnwood Arts
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • City Arts
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Renaissance East Midlands

Youth Landscapers

  • Lead Artist, 2016-17
  • Black to Green Project, The National Forest & Partners

A project working with youth people in Moira and Donisthorpe, North Leicestershire, to explore the landscape’s industrial past and forest future. In phase one we worked with local historians, wildlife experts, archivists, museum curators and the public to research the area. Together we created an exhibition at Moira Furnace Museum in summer 16. Since then we've been working with filmmaker Ian Nesbitt to make a short film exploring local memories and language of the area's past industries of pits, pots and pipes. Follow the link for the project's blog -

First Art

  • Creative Producer for Events and Commissions (part-time) 2015-2016
  • Creative People & Places Project

The First Art project works to inspire communities in the ex-coalfield areas in North Nottinghamshire and North East Derbyshire to experience and get involved in the arts. My role involved developing and managing large and small-scale projects. I worked with communities to commission artists, devise creative opportunities and bring great art to the area. Follow this link to the First Art website -

Village Postcard Project Jo Wheeler

The Village Postcard Project & Bus Fayre

  • Artist 2014 & 2015
  • Transported Creative People & Places Project

The project focused on conversations with residents in 4 villages in South Lincolnshire, discovering local and personal histories. In response I created a series of alternative village postcards. To share these images more widely a selection were enlarged and displayed in the village bus shelters, and on the buses that serve the communities. In the summer I worked with artist Manya Benenson to transform the shelters into one-day pop up museums, dressing these mini public spaces with images and objects representing the village and its history. Follow this link to visit the project blog -

Manton Pit Woods Community Gateway Project

  • Joint Artist with Ian Jones 2014-15
  • Nottinghamshire County Council

A collaboration with maker Ian Jones to create a gateway sculpture for Manton Pit Woods as part of the redevelopment of the ex-colliery site, for the Greenwood Partnership, Nottinghamshire County Council. The design was inspired by the nature on the site, and made from materials sourced from local industry. I designed a schools and community workshop project, using visits with groups to explore the site to map and record the habitats and wildlife. Follow this link to visit the project blog -

Jo Wheeler Arts & Learning Bardon Hill

Bardon Hill Project

  • Lead Artist and Coordinator 2011
  • Mantle Arts

Working with local mental health service users and project partners to map Bardon Hill's unique wildlife, history and views and encourage other people to walk it and discover how special it is for themselves. The project team produced an exhibtion at Snibston Discovery Centre, Coalville and an online PDF with graphic designer Tom Martin. Follow this link to view the PDF -

The BOX Self-assesment Resource

  • Joint Artist with Dan Edwards 2011
  • Creative Partnerships and Sutton Community College

A six month project working with a core group of students to develop and trial a self-assessment tool to be rolled out across the school for pupils to record, reflect and share their out of school hours learning.

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Visual Dialogues

Visual Dialogues - STRIPPED

  • Lead Artist & Coordinator 2010 - 2011
  • Nottingham Museums & Galleries Service - Nottingham City Council

A six-month project as part of a national Tate-led initiative. Working with young art students to curate a contemporary art exhibition and events programme to engage a new youth audience with Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Please click on the following link to visit the project's Facebook page:

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Nottingham Arts & Community Cohesion Forum

Nottingham Arts & Community Cohesion Forum

  • Coordinator 2010 - 2011

An Arts Council funded research and advocacy project with Nottingham University and Nottingham City Council. Demonstrating that the arts are a valuable tool in meeting local government community agendas. Outputs included a bound case study publication, website and promotional event - The Creative Society, held at Nottingham Contemporary in December 2010. Please click on the following link to view the case studies -

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Rufford

Rufford Country Park & Craft Gallery

  • Learning Resources Developer 2010 - 2011
  • Nottinghamshire County Council

Researching and writing a series of educational resources for schools and family visitors including a sculpture trail, explorer guides for the gallery and grounds as well as teacher packs for four handling collection boxes. Please click on the following link to view the family and school's resource pages -

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary

  • Deputy Head of Learning 2008 - 2009

Initiating and leading on youth, family and community policy and programming. My role included recruiting, training and managing a team of associate artists to plan, resource and deliver the gallery's learning programme - including setting up the youth-led Get Involved 17 art group. Please click on the following link to go to the gallery's website -

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Access to Arts

Access to Arts

  • Visits and Evaluation Coordinator 2007 - 2010
  • Double Impact

An Arts Council and Government funded programme organising and supporting a weekly cultural visits programme for adults with mental health issues and in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions - using the arts to re-connect people with their city through positive, creative and social activity. Please click on the following link to view the Access to Arts website -

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Wollaton Hall

Nottingham City Museums & Galleries

  • Access Project Coordinator, Wollaton Hall 2007 - 2008
  • Nottingham City Council

Consulting and planning with local families, visually impaired groups and adult day centres to devise access projects and resources to develop new audiences for Wollaton Hall.

Jo Wheeler : Arts & Learning: Envision

Engage - The National Association of Gallery Education

  • Envision Programme Manager 2006 - 2008

Coordinating a national programme supporting galleries across England to develop innovative youth arts work. The programme brought together venues, partners and young people - sharing their ideas, expertise and resources to create opportunities for marginalised young people to have a genuine role in shaping gallery practice, policy and spaces. My role included managing grant projects, budgets, fundraising, training, seminars, evaluation, web and printed resources including co-writing and producing 'Envision: A Handbook Supporting Young People's Participation in Galleries and the Arts', 2008. Please click on the following link to find out more -