25 May 2018back

Arts & Business Scotland strengthens leadership team with four new Trustees

Arts & Business Scotland press release, 25th May 2018

Independent charity Arts & Business Scotland has appointed four new Trustees to its management board, bringing expertise from senior roles at BBC Scotland and the Scottish Government alongside the fields of arts management and consultancy. Alex Dobbie, Paul Smart, Yolanda Aguilar, and Graeme Davies have joined Arts & Business Scotland at an important time as the organisation seeks to further strengthen its role as a conduit between Scotland’s cultural and business sectors.

Chaired by Diana Murray, Arts & Business Scotland is an independent Scottish charity that helps to nurture creative, social and commercial relationships in an effort to enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland. 2018 is a pivotal year for the organisation as it marks one year since the launch of the Culture & Business Fund Scotland, which provides match funding for business sponsorship of cultural projects. Meanwhile, a special conference taking place in Edinburgh last month marked the culmination of Arts & Business Scotland’s Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage programme, which has successfully delivered training on governance and fundraising to heritage organisations throughout Scotland over the past four years.

Arts & Business Scotland’s new Trustees will be focused on strengthening ties between Scotland’s business and cultural sectors, a particularly critical goal at a time of ongoing uncertainty around the future of public sector funding for heritage and the arts.

Alex Dobbie is Head of HR at BBC Scotland and brings with him extensive board-level experience across a broad spectrum of industries.

Mr Dobbie remarked:

“I’m delighted to be joining the board of Arts & Business Scotland.  It is a tremendously exciting time for all of us involved across our various sectors and I am looking forward to working with all of our partners and stakeholders to forge ahead and take advantage of the opportunities that lie before us, whilst also working together in solidarity to address some of the challenges that remain.    

“At a personal level I am incredibly passionate about supporting the industry in Scotland, both through my role at BBC Scotland and beyond and upon hearing that Arts & Business Scotland were seeking to add some additional voices to their team I jumped at the opportunity.’ 

Dr Paul Smart has held various senior positions within the Scottish administration and is currently Head of Colleges, Young Workforce & SFC Sponsorship Division at the Scottish Government. An expert on heritage matters, Dr Smart has held senior positions at Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Civic Trust, Scottish Homes, and the Scottish Department of Development (Railways), among others.

Dr Smart commented:

"I am very pleased to be given the chance to help guide the path-breaking work A&BS at such an exciting time for Scotland's creative arts and heritage.

“I am particularly keen to support the organisation's commitment to widening access to the country's rich and diverse visual and performing arts through supporting community-based business/arts partnerships."

Yolanda Aguilar is an experienced cultural manager who has a background as a professional performer and tutor in the performing arts. Ms Aguilar is currently Director of Operations at dance company Shaper/Caper, and has experience working with local authorities and arts centres throughout Scotland.

Ms Aguilar remarked:

“I am thrilled to be part of Arts and Business Scotland's Board of Trustees. The organisation holds a unique place in the Scottish professional landscape and I am looking forward to contributing to its development and growth in the forthcoming years, alongside a fantastic team of directors and staff”. 

Graeme Davies is a marketing expert who is currently Director of Marketing for Scottish technology company Clearwater Controls’ DERAGGER+ wastewater system. He comes from a consultancy background and has helped managed the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Filmhouse cinema group as part of this work.

Mr Davies remarked:

"Having spent much of my career working on creative partnerships from various perspectives, rights holder, sponsor and consultant, I am delighted to be joining the Board of Arts & Business Scotland.  

“I look forward to working with the A&BS Board and management team to continue the work they do in encouraging corporations, brands and cultural organisations to form collaborative, creative partnerships that deliver real commercial value to all parties."

Commenting on the appointment of the four new board trustees, Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive David Watt said:

“We are delighted to welcome four new trustees to Arts & Business Scotland. Their appointments come at an exciting time for our organisation, with the Culture & Business Fund Scotland supporting some of Scotland’s most exciting and innovative arts and heritage projects.

“Membership to Arts & Business Scotland is increasing with the need and demand for arts and heritage organisations to develop skills and confidence in securing funding from other entrepreneurial sources. This could be anything from forming private sector creative partnerships to empowering the public through crowdfunding techniques.

“Our core mandate is to facilitate mutually-beneficial working relationships between business and the cultural sector in order for Scotland’s arts and heritage sectors to thrive. The leadership and expertise that our new trustees bring to Arts & Business Scotland will be pivotal in helping us to continue our progress towards achieving that goal.

“On behalf of Arts & Business Scotland, we welcome our four new board members and look forward to working together to further enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland in the months ahead, and empowering the public through donation, membership, crowdfunding and other innovative fundraising engagement.”

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