Quango Board of the Week: Week Three

Getting artsy this week, it’s the turn of Culture West Midlands. Who? Well you pay for them so you should probably know who they are:

Culture West Midlands (CWM) is one of eight Regional Cultural Consortium's set up by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to represent the arts, sports, heritage, tourism and creativity in the English regions. CWM works to promote all aspects of the cultural life of the region with partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

But do we not already have Tourism West Midlands? Screen West Midlands? Arts Council: West Midlands? Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA): West Midlands? Sport England: West Midlands?

Well yes we do, and apparently they participate in the Regional Cultural Forum (alongside the likes of the Government Office for the West Midlands, the West Midlands Regional Assembly, the Big Lottery Fund etc) which in turn is supported by none other than Cuture West Midlands...

And this week’s board members have their fingers in many many pies, but then there seem to be many pies to choose from!:

The Board:

Culture West Midlands' board forms a network of some of the region’s leading cultural lights who, alongside its Chair, Brian Woods-Scawen, represent the interests of the arts, sport, libraries, architecture, museums, archives, creative industries, heritage and tourism in the West Midlands.

(Hang on a second, is that the same Brian Woods-Scawen vying for the Advantage West Midlands throne? Didn’t he spend his career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers as an accountant? Funny, it doesn’t mention that in his profile below…)

Professor George Caird
George is Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire and Chair of the National Association of Youth Orchestras. He is also a Board member of the Symphony Hall and Youth Music, and past President-elect of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Dorothy Wilson
Dorothy is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of mac . She is also Chair of Arts Council England West Midlands Board, co-Director of aliss (the new Artists and Learning Information and Support Service) a Board member of Belmont Arts Centre in Shrewsbury and of Motionhouse Dance Company, and Vice Chair of the new Artrix Arts Centre in Bromsgrove. She's also a Director of Birmingham Arts Marketing, she really shouldn't be so modest…

Jonnie Turpie
Jonnie has produced and directed film and television based drama and documentary for the last 20 years. He is Chair of Screen West Midlands and Executive Chairman and New Media Director at Maverick Television (who have in turn given workshops for Film Birmingham...).

Councillor Ian Ward
Ian is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group on Birmingham City Council and was previously Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture. Councillor Ward is an Improvement and Development Agency Consultant and a Board member of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome and Arts Council England, West Midlands. So that’s two who double up and sit on the board of Arts Council: West Midlands…

Anita Bhalla
A former broadcaster, Anita is now Head of Political and Community Affairs for BBC English Regions. She is also a board member of the MAC and the Symphony Hall and a Govenor of the University of Central England.

Liz Roberts
Liz has been working for the National Trust since 1986 and in 2001 became the Director for the West Midlands. She is also a board member for Tourism West Midlands and a member of the West Midlands Historic Environment Forum (What?).

Martyn Green
Martyn is Chief Executive of The Courtyard, Herefordshire's Centre for the Arts. He is also Vice Chair of the Govenors of Herefordshire College of Art and Design and the Chair and arts representative on Herefordshire's own Cultural Consortium.

Paul Udenze
Paul is an independent consultant with considerable experience of work with black arts organisations. He sits on the boards of Black Country Touring (sponsored by pretty much every council and quango in the area), Birmingham Arts Marketing and Trans Europe Hales (sponsored by the EU).

Professor Susan Bassnett
Susan is Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick. She writes for the Independent and the Times Higher Education Supplement and serves on the Arts Committees of the British Council and ACE West Midlands. Susan's the third member who also sits on the Arts Council: West Midlands board, but they’ve neglected to mention it…

Brian Woods-Scawen (former accountant and Chair of Culture West Midlands)
Brian has worked with a number of public and private organisations, both regionally and nationally including the prime minister's committee for standards in public life. He chaired Birmingham's bid to be European Capital of Culture. He is currently Chair of Connexions and the sub regional regeneration partnership covering Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire.

Notably, their 'News Headlines' were updated on the 4th March and the section entitled 'current projects' is completely blank. Their archived projects also make for very interesting reading...