The Trustees of the Arts Foundation ensure good governance while supporting and challenging the day to day running of the charity. Selected from broad range of arts areas they bring expertise to the process of nominations and awarding fellowships.
John is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who chairs a number of public and private companies including Maintel plc and the London Theatre Company. He is a non-executive director of a number of investment management businesses and has a range of venture capital interests in e-commerce, media and telecommunications.
He is Chairman of The Prince’s Trust and Pallant House Gallery and a trustee of the Tate Gallery, Chatsworth House and a number of other charities. John is a Fellow of Merton College and chairs the College’s Development Board. John is an ambassador for the homelessness charity DePaul International and a Deputy Lieutenant for West Sussex.
Dennis Chang is a Director at Bolton & Quinn, an international public relations consultancy for arts and culture. Since joining the company in 2012, he has worked on diverse campaigns for global clients with a special emphasis on the performing arts and the visual arts. Previously he worked at London’s Southbank Centre overseeing the press operations of UK’s largest classical music programme, coordinating more than 10 partner organisations. Dennis grew up in Taiwan and Canada and attended university and music school in the USA.
Andrew Comben joined Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival as Chief Executive in 2008, having previously worked in classical music for Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Music (Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme) and Young Classical Artists Trust. At BDBF he established the Guest Director model for Brighton Festival (with artists such as Anish Kapoor, Laurie Anderson, Kate Tempest, David Shrigley and Lemn Sissay) and developed a new vision for the organisation as a year-round centre of artistic activity and involving all areas of the community in the performing arts.
Jan Dalley is the author of the biography DIANA MOSLEY and the arts editor of the Financial Times. She was also previously the paper's literary editor, and is the author of numerous features and reviews on the arts and books, as well as a fortnightly column in the FT Weekend section. Jan's most recent book is THE BLACK HOLE, an account of the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta.
Virginia Hodge is a materials designer and consultant. She is Creative
Director of HodgeSellers (HS) with over twenty five years’ experience working with many leading brands including Louis Vuitton, Nike, Heatherwick Studio and Azzedine Alaia – whose notable 2018 exhibition at London’s Design Museum, included HS bespoke materials.
She is passionate about arts education and has been an external examiner for Central Saint Martin’s and Chelsea College of Arts. She was awarded a UAL Visiting Professorship for her contribution to fashion textile design. Previous roles include Non-Executive Director for WB The Creative Jewellery Group. In 2014 Virginia set up the Arts Foundation’s Materials Innovation Award with Director Shelley Warren, funded by The Clothworkers’ Foundation.
Howell James CBE is the CEO of Quiller Consultants. In a long and varied career he has been a senior civil servant, as well as a senior broadcasting and business executive. In government he was Permanent Secretary for Government Communications; worked in No10 Downing Street as Political Secretary to the Prime Minister; and was Special Adviser in the Departments of Employment and Trade and Industry. In business he worked at Cable & Wireless, Christie’s, and was Vice-Chairman Corporate Affairs, Barclays plc. In media he held positions at Capital Radio, TVam, the UK’s first commercial breakfast television channel and was Director of Corporate Affairs at the BBC.
Frith Kerr is an award winning graphic designer and founder of Studio Frith, celebrated for its original work and exceptional clients. ‘the go-to graphic designer for creative clients’ New York Times. Her studio has produced acclaimed work for some of the world’s leading cultural institutions, brands and artists.
Monika works at the intersection of design, research and education. She has spent two decades in art schools, teaching contextual studies to designers, artists, curators and historians. Currently teaching at Central Saint Martins, she has had senior roles at the Royal College of Art and external roles across the UK, Europe, USA and India.
This cross-disciplinary experience now feeds in to consultancy, facilitation and chairing funding bids. She is often commissioned to speculate on contemporary issues through public speaking, writing and convening talks. Her books include ‘Limited Language: Re-writing Design’ and ‘100 Women Architects’, out soon.
Jonathan Reekie CBE
Since 2014 Jonathan has been Director of Somerset House Trust.
He began his career at Glyndebourne Opera and then went to be General Manager at the Almeida Theatre, founding Almeida Opera. In 1997 he took over as Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Music where he remained until 2014, a transformational period for the organization culminating in the Britten Centenary celebrations.
He has an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of East Anglia, is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2013 was awarded a CBE for services to music.
Matthew Slotover founded frieze magazine with co-publisher Amanda Sharp in 1991, and was editor until 1998. In October 2003, they founded London’s Frieze Art Fair and in 2012 they launched Frieze Masters and Frieze New York. Matthew is currently chair of the South London Gallery, and on the board of the charities Create, an organization dedicated to bringing the arts to local communities in East London; and the Arts Foundation, which distributes awards to artists. In 2000 he was a judge for the Turner Prize, and in 1993 was a curator of the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. He is currently part of the selection committee for the annual Fourth Plinth commission in Trafalgar Square. In 2012 he was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts.
Kully Thiarai is the newly appointed creative director and CEO of Leeds 2023 taking up post from January 2020. She was the Artistic Director and CEO of National Theatre Wales until December 2019. Kully has a long track record in the arts and theatre making. She was founding Director of Cast arts centre in Doncaster and Artistic Director of Contact Theatre in Manchester, the Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Theatre Writing Partnership and Red Ladder Theatre Company. She is currently a board member of the Manchester International Festival and the Leeds based theatre company Slung Low.