As an independent charity DGU is governed by Board of Trustees each with a term of office of three years (renewable) with the following composition:
– Two members residing in each of the four areas of Dumfries and Galloway (Nithsdale, Wigtownshire, Stewarty and Annandale & Eskdale). These Trustees are elected by the Membership from that area.
– Two further Trustees nominated by and from within the Regional Arts Hub.
Meet the current Board of Trustees:
Cathy Agnew – Chair
Matt Baker – Regional Arts Hub representative
Matt Baker has run his own public art studio in South West Scotland for 20 years. During this time he has delivered projects ranging from temporary events/installations to large-scale permanent artworks and led cultural strategies for programmes of urban change. He was Lead Artist for the City of Inverness from 2006-10 and was Lead Artist in the Gorbals (Glasgow) from 1999-2005. Since 2011 he has focused on long-term activist strategies for integrating creative practice into the social structures of his home region in South West Scotland – he founded, and is based with, The Stove Network in the heart of Dumfries town centre and is a founding director of Environmental Art Festival Scotland.
Anne Barclay, Trustee – Regional Arts Hub representative
Anne was born in Wigtown, educated at Wigtown Primary School, Douglas Ewart High School and completed a BA in Entertainment and Events Management at Glasgow Caledonian University. She returned to the area following her degree and has worked for Wigtown Festival Company since 2007 where she is now the Operational Director.
A trustee for Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, The Swallow Theatre Association and co-opted Regional Arts Hub member on the board of DG Unlimited, Anne enjoys the wealth of opportunities the region has to offer throughout the year. Beyond her working life she is also a Guide Leader, Chairman of Dumfries & Galloway’s CRUK Relay For Life committee, a member of Newton Stewart Rotary Club, and a proud auntie.
Anne’s favourite time of year is the annual Wigtown Book Festival – the flagship event for Wigtown Festival Company – when the marquees go up, the visitors beginning to arrive and the excitement building among the Festival’s army of volunteers and the local community. She said, “there’s no doubt it’s a lot of hard work but there’s an immense sense of satisfaction seeing it all come together, and I’ve learned (from the inspirational Frank Gardner) don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Dr Janet Brennan, Secretary and Trustee for Stewartry
Dr Janet Brennan is secretary of the Board of Trustees of DGU. She is an architectural historian and author (and in a former life was a University Head of Faculty of Behavioral Sciences). She lives in Barholm Castle, between Gatehouse of Fleet and Creetown, which she and her husband restored from a ruin ten years ago. Visits to the castle and gardens can be arranged for groups and individuals.
Since retiring from overseas back home to the south west of Scotland five years ago, she has become involved in a number of local groups including the Gatehouse Singers, the Galloway Members Group of the NTS and the Galloway Preservation Society. Janet organises study days in the arts for SWSDFAS based in Dumfries and, as Chair of the Scottish Castles Association, regularly lectures on Scottish castles across the UK.
She is a member of the Board of Management of Dumfries and Galloway College and was formerly one of their Open Learning tutors. She is also a Board member of Historic Environment Scotland, the new national lead heritage organisation formed from the merger of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS. Janet is an avid collector of visual arts and crafts produced by local artists.
Dave Currie – Trustee for Wigtownshire
Stephen Lacey – Trustee for Annandale & Eskdale
Stephen Lacey is an Emeritus Professor of the University of South Wales. He recently took early retirement after 38 years as a university academic teaching drama, film and television in universities across the UK, including Scotland. Much of that time was spent teaching and researching British television drama and contemporary theatre, including community and participatory theatre, often working with students outside the university classroom. He has also participated in research projects that engaged with the wider community and public bodies, including the BBC Trust Cymru/Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.
In an earlier life, he was active in community theatre in Scotland, working with the Craigmillar Festival Society and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh. More recently, he has been a trustee on the Board of the Rural Media Company, Hereford. He is currently (until June 2018) Chair of the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments, the professional body that represents departments of drama and performance in UK universities. He moved back to Dumfries and Galloway in 2013 and lives in Lockerbie.
Bea Last – Trustee for Nithsdale
A professional practising visual artist, with work exhibited widely across the U.K and abroad Bea has 30 years of experience working in the creative industries. Commissions include The Corinthia Hotel, London W1, Reuters, Microsoft, Ballymore properties Canary Wharf London and the Dokka Project, Dubai.
Focusing on her own practice she is also a Mentor through both Upland Arts Organisation, CABN – Creative Arts Business Network and for private clients. Bea has recently been invited by Glasgow School of Art to facilitate their ‘Wider Participation’ project aimed at school leavers wishing to apply to art school, helping them develop their portfolios and she is keen to support and encourage our younger Artists.
Bea has received Awards from The Scottish Arts Trust, also, Dumfries and Galloway Council, in partnership with Creative Scotland and in 2016 received an Artists residency award at Cove Park, Argyll and Bute. Having recently exhibited at The Surface Gallery, Nottingham she is presently working towards a new body of work.
Davie McMillan, Trustee for Wigtownshire
Davie worked in the Building Trade before joining Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, serving in Stranraer, Dumfries and the Scottish Crime Squad in Glasgow.
After retirement he joined the Local Health Council, this became Dumfries and Galloway Advocacy Service which Davie has chaired for a number of years. He also became a member of Dumfries and Galloway Children’s Panel, becoming Chair and the Area Convener on the inception of Children’s Hearings Scotland. Davie also chairs the Training Committee for CHS and West Lothian College and is on the Board of Children 1st covering south and west of Scotland.
Davie joined Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership some 10 years ago and was Chair of the Audit Committee for four years and then Chair of the organisation for the past four years. He believes that the Arts in whatever form gives the vulnerable in our society a voice and ultimately social inclusion. The access to leisure and cultural facilities and through this the opportunity to express their views.
He also believe that through arts our people and communities will be, and feel , safe and secure. Community and individual resilience can be built and those individuals and communities are treated fairly and with respect.
Karen Ward-Boyd – Trustee for Nithsdale
Carolyn Yates – Trustee for Stewartry
Carolyn came to live in Dumfries and Galloway in 1990. She writes poetry, plays and spoken word performances. She was the region’s literature development officer, with Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association (from 2009) and with Wigtown Festival Company (2011 to 2015) and is a qualified Arts Award Advisor.
She is currently studying for a master’s degree in playwriting at the University of Edinburgh. She has over twenty-five years of governance experience: as a school trustee and for Ryan Youth Theatre; President of Association for Science Education (ASE) Scotland; Past National Chair of the Association of Science Education; and as a member of The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s education advisory body for 3 years. Her career spans primary, secondary school and FE teaching; HE research; teacher-training; school inspection; Director of Chester Innovations, University College Chester’s consultancy services developing new markets; Lead Education Project Consultant in Palestine and Jordan for the British Council and the Department for International Development and in Pakistan for non-Government organisations.
She is a volunteer for Wigtown Book Festival; an Arts Ambassador for DG Arts Festival; voluntary secretary for Ryan Youth Theatre Voluntary Organisation, Stranraer; and a STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) Ambassador for Glasgow University for the Dumfries and Galloway Wild Science Festival. She is a Director of CAP Ltd (an education training development company) and with her husband, Ken Gouge co-owns Jenny Wren Toy, Game and Book shop in Castle Douglas.