MDI Merseyside Dance Initiative
Inspiring people through dance
Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dr. Cathy Butterworth – the team and board reflect on her time with MDI

Dr. Cathy Butterworth, has been a trustee of MDI for many years and also took a bit of time out to take on a curatorial role as producer of the Year of Dance (2010), supporting, Artistic Director Karen Gallagher and working closely with the Merseyside Dance Promoters Network. A highlight of that programme was Cathy’s development of a programme with The Liverpool BID Company, called 12 Days of Christmas as we took over the City Centre each day at 1pm with a variety of companies, communities and students. The dancing swans from Accrington will forever memorable for so many adorable reasons!

Joining the organization as a trustee of the Charity and Director of the Company in 2004 she took over as Chair from the late Clive Taylor in 2011 and remained so until the appointment of Paul Bewick in 2017.

Cathy has been an absolute asset to the organization because she really understands and champions innovation, interdisciplinary practice and the transformational properties of using dance to bring about change, which is reflected in her own practice and in supporting the work of MDI.

As Paul Bewick says:
“What can you say about Cathy Butterworth? She came for a year and stayed for 14! Her service to MDI as Board member and more latterly as Chair of the Board of Trustees has not only been exemplary but selfless, and notable in her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to supporting the development of dance in Liverpool as well as across the North West region and nationally.
As with many members of Boards of management, who sit in a voluntary capacity, she has given freely of her time and energy for many years and her contribution to the development of the cultural sector on Merseyside has been immense.

Her vision and passion for the Arts plus her practical and focused approach to getting things done, combined with a sharp wit and infectious sense of humour, has allowed Cathy to lead MDI through many years of successful development. In her day job as Arts Centre Manager at Edge Hill University she has carved out a deserved reputation for innovation and excellence that she also brought to her role with MDI. Her experience and breadth of knowledge will be greatly missed, however I am sure she will retain a close, and active, interest in MDI as it continues to grow and make a significant contribution to the cultural life of the City, the region and nationally as well as contributing directly to many of the challenging agendas facing the City Region”. 

Karen Gallagher MBE, Artstic Director reflects:
“Cathy has been a colleague and a boss, but mostly a critical friend, someone that I respect immensely for her constant generosity of time and spirit, but mostly for her regular support and confidence in MDI as it has gone through many developments throughout the years.  I will miss her integrity and laughter, her level headedness and ability to articulate and make sense of what we do at the highest level. I will miss Cathy so much, she has been a huge part of my tenure here as Artistic Director and her contributions are huge”.


“Being on the MDI board has been such a fantastic and enriching experience and though it is absolutely the right time for me to leave, as the organisation moves into the next phase of its life, I will really miss engaging with the organisation at this level. Working alongside Karen, the team and the board over the years has been a thoroughly rewarding and inspiring experience.

MDI never ceases to amaze me in its sheer ambition, drive, vision and the quality of the work that it has consistently produced and presented over the past 25 years. To have played even a small part in that for 14 of those years makes me really proud”. Dr. Cathy Butterworth