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Experience as a chair, board member and trustee

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In April 2022 I joined the Board of Clore Leadership, a dynamic and inclusive resource for leaders and aspiring leaders in the arts, culture and creative sectors, which provides a wide ranging programme of development for those at all stages of their leadership journey.

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In October 2022 I joined the Board of the National Theatre of Scotland, one of Scotland’s National Performing Companies and a ground-breaking ‘theatre without walls’. NTS takes work to audiences: at home and around the world, on the ferry and in the local pub, in forests and tower blocks, in submarines and swimming pools, on the biggest stages and in the smallest community halls.

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In June 2022 I joined the Board of Art UK - the online home for every public art collection in the country. Art UK showcases nearly 300,000 works from 3,500 British institutions, providing free digital access to thousands of extraordinary paintings, sculpture, works-on-paper and photography, by nearly 55,000 artists. Art UK is committed to sharing the nation’s art, and encouraging creative thinking and practice – enabling online curation, storytelling, creative learning, and providing a shop – reaching a global audience of 4.5m unique visitors a year.

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From 2016 to 2022 I was Chair of Craft Scotland: the national agency which inspires, develops and champions high quality contemporary craft. Craft Scotland creates opportunities for makers to exhibit, sell and promote their work in Scotland, London and internationally, and runs an active learning and outreach programme. Craft Scotland is a Regularly Funded Organisation supported by Creative Scotland, guiding a sector which contributes over £70million to the economy, through an estimated 3,350 makers.

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From 2009 to 2022 I was a trustee of the Fruitmarket gallery in Edinburgh, which presents world class, thought-provoking contemporary art in an environment that is welcoming, engaging and always free. A major capital redevelopment in 2021 doubled the size of the building, creating more exhibition, peformance and learning space - a step change for art and audiences. 

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From 2005 to 2015 I was a Board member of the Edinburgh Art Festival , the UK's largest annual visual arts festival, with half a million visitors each August. The Festival brings together over 50 exhibitions, a wide-ranging events programme and major commissions from leading and emerging artists.

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I was twice elected to the Board of the Arts Marketing Association, the UK's professional development body helping cultural organisations build skills to reach more people. Beyond my Board role I created and hosted annual conferences for museums and galleries, wrote a membership development strategy for Scotland, and have been a regular keynote speaker and trainer.

‘We were privileged to have Catherine as a trustee on the Edinburgh Art Festival Board. She provided valuable advice at a key stage in our development. This included expert advice on branding, including a new identity for the Festival; tendering for PR contracts; and critically, supporting the development of a three-year business plan, underpinning successful transition to regular funding from Creative Scotland. Catherine was a dedicated and committed trustee, a valued and welcome source of constructive and informed feedback, who brought a vast wealth of professional experience. She also took time to really know and understand the Festival and how it operated, regularly attending Festival exhibitions and events. We benefitted enormously from her contributions. She would be an asset to any Board.’

Sorcha Carey | Director, Edinburgh Art Festival 

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