Organisation: The Arts Foundation

Location London, London (Central), WC2 R1LA
Where the role is based Mainly at home
Travel limit No
Application deadline 26 Jun 2017
Opportunity type Trustee/Governor
Reference number J54866

Opportunity description

Opportunity to join a unique, independent Arts charity which since 1993 has awarded over £1.7m, supporting artists from the Performing and Visual Arts, Crafts/Design/Film/Literature. Many have gone on to become leaders in their art form.

The role

The board of Trustees comprises a range of experts from different areas of the arts, including a financial and legal expert (latter to be appointed).

  1. Jonathan Reekie; Director of Somerset House
  2. John Cohen; Clintons Law Firm; Legal representative
  3. Virginia Hodge; HodgeSellers Design
  4. Siobhan Davies CBE; Choreographer
  5. Simon Prosser; Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton
  6. Matthew Slotover; Co-Founder of Frieze Magazine and Art Fair.
  7. Frith Kerr; Studio Frith Kerr Design.
  8. Sir Richard Eyre; writer, stage and film director
  9. Jan Dalley; Arts Editor of the Financial Times.


The role of Chairman entails;

  • Supporting the Director who works part time
  • Chairing four trustee meetings a year
  • Hosting the annual awards ceremony
  • Helping to identify and pursue potential sponsors and donors
  • Liaising with Director which is mostly done by telephone
  • Finding new trustees, guests of honour for our awards ceremony and opening doors for the Director.
  • Liaising with our financial trustee to manage our investments.
  • Reviewing the Director’s performance and ensuring she has the resources necessary to fulfil her role.


The main challenges are;

  • Maintaining capital levels and income from the endowment and supplementing it from fundraising to enable the awards to be made and the foundation to function (total cost around £140,000 per annum). The Endowment is still around £1m, which rose in 2010 due to a legacy of about £500,000. Several of the awards are sponsored each year at around £10-15,000 each.
  • To support the profile of the Foundation through attracting new trustees and advisors and high profile guest speakers at the awards.
  • Finally 2018 marks our 25th Annivesary and we will bthe trustees are currently discussing ideas to celebrate the anniversary. Ideas under discussion include increasing the amount given to the winners, the short listing of 25 artists for the anniversary year only and a series of recordings.


Required skills

  • Business development
  • Governance
  • Strategic development and planning

Person description

   An outline of the skills/experience we would hope for;

  • Experience of being on a board of a charity
  • Have a passion for the Arts and a belief in the need to support emerging artists without necessarily having direct experience in the Arts.
  • Possess some knowledge of investments to ensure that the Foundations’ capital and income are maintained at levels necessary to support charitable objectives
  • Have the network or ability to access network to be able to introduce to the Foundation directly or through third parties potential donors and supporters of the Foundation. This includes the ability to communicate effectively about the mission of the Foundation to prospective supporters.
  • Maintain the appropriate governance of the charity.
  • Have enough time to fulfil the roles expected above.


What impact the opportunity will have

A good Chairman will benefit the Foundation by helping steer the Trust successfully through the next years, ensuring the health of its fellowship scheme both financially and structurally and maintaining an active board of trustees.

What’s in it for the volunteer?

Our main remit - giving money to artists and their creative pursuit is always very rewarding and interesting. Our previous Chairman said the Awards night was his favourite night of the whole year!  Liaising with an accomplished board of people either involved in the Arts or eminent artists themselves bring its own stimulation and new network.

Time commitment

Mostly during office hours

Max four trustees meetings per year, and one Awards evening in January. Would be expected to be available for phone calls with part time Director.

Other details

Additional application instructions

The Arts Foundation is a national organisation supporting artists who reside in the UK. Our meetings usually take place in London therefore it would be important that a Chairman is located within reach of London for those meetings without overnight stay being necessary.