Penny Macbeth is Dean of Manchester School of Art and Deputy Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities focusing on external engagement and partnerships. Penny is the academic and curriculum lead for Manchester Metropolitan Universities groundbreaking School of Digital Arts: SODA, which is due to open in 2021. SODA received 14.9 million pounds of funding from GMCA, the project represents a combined investment of 35 million pounds from Manchester Met and GMCA.
Macbeth is committed to developing a professionally relevant curriculum. Manchester School of Art has pioneered an Award-winning offer that fosters an interdisciplinary approach to learning alongside the development of specialist in-depth knowledge of a subject. This approach will be built upon within the SODA curriculum which will combine the creative, tech and business attributes needed for the creative and digital economy of the future.
Macbeth sits on two citywide bodies: Culture Corridor Group and the St Johns network, she is academic board nominee on Manchester Metropolitans Board of Governors and Board member of Castlefield Gallery, she is also on the steering group of Culture Forum North.
Macbeth is a member of the visual culture research group. Her work explores cloth’s potential as a carrier of narrative and catalyst for community empathy and cohesion; research is drawn from artists, practitioners and archival sources. In March 2018 she co-convened the International Conference Textile and Place with colleagues from the School of Art and The Whitworth Art Gallery: presenting a paper entitled ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ exploring what we might understand by socially engaged or socially enacted textiles.
Macbeth is a member of the BTEC Foundation Art and Design weekly drawing project, which is curated via Instagram #msoatheweeklywardrobe