New chair and trustees for DG Unlimited

The charity that champions and promotes the region’s creative and cultural sector has appointed a new Chair.

Long standing board member Cathy Agnew stepped down at the recent annual general meeting of DG Unlimited.

Cathy has been a driving force since the charity was established and held the position of Chair twice but now hands over the mantle to Vice-Chair Stephen Lacey, of Lockerbie.

Stephen is an Emeritus Professor of the University of South Wales and recently took early retirement after 38 years as a university academic teaching drama, film and television.

He moved back to Dumfries and Galloway in 2013 and became a member of the DGU Board of Trustees in April 2016.

He said: “It is an exciting and challenging time to take on the role of Chair for DGU. As we approach 2021, it is clear that Covid-19 has had a serious impact on the arts and culture, and DGU is focused on supporting a recovery, especially through the continuation of our Creatives Unlimited programme and participation in DGC’s year-long Come Together Festival. We are looking forward to working with partners old and new, including Dumfries and Galloway Council, Creative Scotland and South of Scotland Enterprise.”

Mandy Green

Two other Board members also stood down following a considerable term: Karen Ward Boyd, of The Holywood Trust, and Katharyn Wheeler, of The Stove.

Three DGU members put themselves forward to fill the vacancies and were appointed at the AGM by the membership.

The first is Mandy Green, an active musician, performer, actor/producer and member of folk band Life O’Reilly. Mandy works for Dumfries and Galloway Council and also coaches young people in guitar and performance both privately and voluntarily with Stranraer Guitar Club.

Mandy has always been a strong advocate for the region’s youth and believes there is a depth of talent in the region. She understands COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the Arts and would like to contribute to its aid and recovery.

Frank Hayes

Frank Hayes, a photographer, illustrator and environmentalist as well as being the founder and managing director of For Enjoyment CIC is also a new trustee. He started this social enterprise 4 years ago after working within the arts in Dumfries and Galloway for the last decade.

Frank’s experience has given him a keen insight into the arts sector in Dumfries and Galloway. He is committed to nurturing the artistic ability within everyone and improving mental and social health, confidence and wellbeing through the power of art and creativity.

The final addition is Lucy MacLeod, a freelance creative practitioner, arts educator, founder and Creative Director of Outpost Arts, a rural arts organisation based in Langholm.

Lucy MacLeod

Being on the ‘front-line’ of rural arts gives Lucy a clear perspective of the ongoing difficulties and obstacles faced by artists and arts organisations including COVID-19. She is passionate about the success of artists, makers and culture/arts organisations in the region, and their ability to positively impact on our communities.

Mandy said: “I am looking forward to working with the Board and my hope is that I can help in not only sustaining, but also nurturing and progressing what is already a region with outstanding talent within all the arts.”

Frank added: “I’m excited about joining this fantastic organisation. The creative sector face many challenges in the coming new year but as 2020 showed it has been excellent at adapting to extreme circumstances and now being part of the board I look forward to supporting the incredible creative wealth of talent that we have in our region.”

Lucy said “I’m delighted to join the DGU board of trustees and am very much looking forward to help steer and support the future direction of the region’s chamber of arts as we emerge from a most challenging time… We’re lucky to have such a vibrant creative sector and DGU’s programme of development activity and funding opportunities underpin that, creating a much needed focal point.”