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Change in Chair of Arts Council England, West Midlands

  • Date: 15 January 2010
  • Area: Midlands
Peter Phillips

Peter Phillips. Credit: Chair of Arts Council England, West Midlands

After almost eight years, Dorothy Wilson stood down as Chair of Arts Council England, West Midlands at the end of 2009. Speaking of her time as Chair, Dorothy said:

'As I stand down as Chair of Arts Council England, West Midlands, looking back it is good to feel that the region has continued to flourish and grow in the range and quality of its arts work in so many dimensions. Looking forward changes and challenges lie ahead but the benefit of hindsight is that I recall how changes and challenges beckoned as I joined the National Council of Arts Council England just as the Regional Arts Boards and Arts Council began their process of merging and building a single national body for the arts in England. The focusing of a clear mission to be a strong and influential national development agency for the arts, supporting a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, carnival to crafts has been at the heart of driving Arts Council England. It has been a privilege to be part of moulding that national agency and playing a part in sustaining and developing the work of artists, arts organisations and our many partnerships in delivery across the region.

'The new changes and challenges will similarly provide some hard times and some hard decisions will need to be made but the mission remains strong and firm and I am confident that the Regional Council and staff, with our colleagues across the country, will be as endlessly creative and imaginative as ever in addressing both those challenges and capturing as many as possible of the opportunities that are presented.

'The organisational restructure currently underway nationally mean that our regional office is changing, some new faces, a number of more familiar faces moving on and a new ACE area structure embracing us in a new working relationship with East Midlands and South West regions. I will follow the next chapter with continued interest and a determination to play a part in celebrating the quality and distinctiveness of cultural endeavor throughout the West Midlands.'

Speaking of Dorothy's time as chair of the council, Regional Executive Director of Arts Council England, West Midlands, Sally Luton said:

'Dorothy is wise, knowledgeable and well respected. As Chair of Arts Council West Midlands and a member of the National Council she has made an enormous contribution to the Arts Council's work.  She has been a friend, supporter and constructive critic in just the right measures and we are all grateful for the time she has given us over the past eight years.'

The new Chair of Arts Council England, West Midlands is Peter Phillips.

Speaking of the appointment, Director of Arts at Arts Council England, West Midlands, Ros Robins said:

'Peter will be well known to many working in the arts in the West Midlands and in Wales.  Peter comes from a business background and works as an independent advisor on corporate strategy and restructuring.  He joined the board of the then City of Birmingham Touring Opera in 1994 and in 1999 became chairman of the successor organisation Birmingham Opera Company supporting the founder and artistic director Graham Vick in establishing the ground breaking programme of award winning, site specific opera productions.  Peter is a long standing board member of Welsh National Opera and currently chairs their commercial subsidiary Cardiff Theatrical Services.  He is delighted to have been appointed to chair the West Midlands Regional Council and is looking forward to meeting the many artists and arts organisations supported through the regional office.'

Peter's term runs from 3 January 2010 to 4 January 2013