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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC Performing Arts Fund appoints new Chair

The BBC Performing Arts Fund has appointed a new Chair, Dorothy Wilson, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at mac (Midlands Arts Centre) in Birmingham.

Dorothy was educated in Northumberland and at the University of Wales and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. Throughout her career she has continued to pursue her interests as a performer.

She has been Artistic Director and Chief Executive of mac in Birmingham since 1990. An experienced venue manager and programmer in local authority venues, as well as independent theatres and arts centres, Dorothy is a board member and adviser to a wide range of organisations.

For more than seven years she was a member of Arts Council England's National Council and chair of the West Midlands Regional Council. She is a member of the Council of TMA (Theatrical Management Association), of the Council of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and serves as chair of Motionhouse Dance Theatre, Artrix Arts Centre in Bromsgrove, MusicLeader West Midlands and Sound Futures, Birmingham's Youth Music Action Zone.

In 2005, Dorothy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England in Birmingham. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2004, ITV Central recognised Dorothy as Arts and Culture Midlander of the Year for services to the arts and culture in the Midlands.

Says Dorothy: "I'm delighted to be taking on this role with the BBC Performing Arts Fund – a charity whose objectives of finding and nurturing young, emerging talent is at the forefront of sustaining UK plc's pole position as a world leader in the performing arts and the creative industries. Raising aspiration and achievement are at the heart of the Trust's work – a passion I share."

Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3 and Director, BBC Proms, who sits on the board of the BBC Performing Arts Fund, said: "Dorothy Wilson has wide ranging experience in leading arts organisations. Her creative leadership will be most welcome to us all at the Performing Arts Fund as we take the work of the fund onto the exciting next stages of its development."

Dorothy replaces Jane Lush, former Head of Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC and MD of Splash Media, who was chair since the Fund's inception in 2003.

Notes to Editors

The BBC Performing Arts Fund helps aspiring music-makers and performers looking for a way to get ahead.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a registered charity, No. 1101276. The charity (formerly Fame Academy Bursary Trust) was set up in 2003 within the BBC.

The Fund receives revenue from the voting lines of BBC One entertainment programmes that seek to find new performing talent (including Fame Academy, How Do you Solve A Problem Like Maria? and I'd Do Anything).

To date, the fund has allocated £2.4m to fund young musicians, from a range of genres, to help them pursue their careers in music.

Our mission is to seek out and support excellent aspiring performers and those directly supporting performing artists who, for reasons of lack of existing opportunity, personal background or circumstance, would not have been able to achieve their most ambitious goals, or their talent's greatest potential without the Fund's support or intervention.


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