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Reappointment for Arts Council Chair

Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis has today (21 June 2012) announced the re-appointment of Professor Dai Smith as Chair of Arts Council of Wales (ACW).
Thursday 21 June 2012

Professor Dai Smith’s current term of appointment ends on 31 March 2013, and he has agreed to serve a further term until 31 March 2016.

Mr Lewis said,

“I am delighted that Professor Smith has agreed to continue his work as Chair of the Arts Council for a third term. His considerable knowledge and experience in the arts sector has proved invaluable over the last few years as the sector has faced a particularly challenging time.

"Following the completion of ACW’s comprehensive Investment Review of its portfolio of clients and a fundamental Organisational Review of its internal structure, I am looking forward to Professor Smith leading a leaner, fitter Council in tackling head-on the ongoing challenges facing the sector and delivering accessible, high-quality arts for all the people of Wales.”

Professor Dai Smith said,

“To be asked to continue to take The Arts Council forward for a further three years is a responsibility that I regard as both a privilege and a trust.  It has been a great support to me to work with such a dedicated Council and with the staff who at all levels have shown their dedication to the arts. I have no doubt that the creativity and vitality of the arts in Wales is ever more essential to our development as a civic society of weight and purpose.  We will listen, we will act in partnership, we will facilitate creativity and participation, and we will not be found unwilling to take appropriate risks or to offer constructive leadership.”

Dai was born in the Rhondda in 1945 and educated at Porth County and Barry Grammar School. He read History and Literature at Balliol College, Oxford; Columbia University, New York; and University of Wales, Swansea.

From 1969 to 1993 he taught History at the universities of Lancaster, Swansea and Cardiff. In 1986 he was awarded a Personal Chair by the University of Wales.

In 1993 he joined the BBC as Editor of Radio Wales and from 1994 to 2000 was Head of Broadcast (English Language) at BBC Wales where he commissioned a number of notable and award-winning programmes, especially in the Arts and Drama. Professor Smith is a renowned historian and prolific writer on the arts and cultural issues, as well as a broadcaster.

Professor Smith was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Regeneration) at the University of Glamorgan from 2001 and had particular responsibility for initiatives relating to the social, economic and cultural contribution which the University made within the community.  In March 2005 he left this post to accept appointment as Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University.

His latest book In the Frame, Memory in Society Wales 1910-2010 came out in 2010.


  • Arts Council of Wales was established under Royal Charter in 1994. Arts Council of Wales is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body, funded largely by grant-in-aid from the Welsh Government, and responsible for the distribution of funds from the National Lottery to art in Wales. It is responsible for developing and improving the knowledge, understanding and practise of the arts; and increasing the accessibility of the arts to the public, in co-operation with other public bodies.
  • The power to appoint the Chair and members of Arts Council of Wales is contained in Section 4(2) of the Royal Charter 1994. These powers vest in the Welsh Ministers by virtue of the Government of Wales Act 2006 and are exercisable by the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage.
  • Under the Council’s Royal Charter, Welsh Ministers have the power to appointed a Chair and up to 17 Members to the Arts Council.
  • The Chair has a time commitment of 2.5 days per week while Council meetings are held up to 10 times a year at venues around Wales.  The post is currently remunerated at £43,810 per annum. In addition to this, all reasonable expenses incurred on Arts Council business are reimbursed.  Members are not currently remunerated.
  • All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be made public. Dai Smith declared political activity on behalf of the Welsh Labour Party.
  • This appointment has been made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.


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Culture and sport 21 June 2012 Programme for Government - Culture and Heritage Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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