Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group

The Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group advises the Arts leadership team and influences how the British Council’s vision and strategy are developed. 

The advisory group reports to the Executive Board, and its formation or disbandment are the Chief Executive's responsibility. The group's functions are solely advisory. It has no decision-making or executive powers. 

The members of the group are listed below.

Our Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group members

John Newbigin - Chair

John Newbigin is Chair of Creative England. John is also Chair of the cultural web publisher Culture24 and of Cinema Arts Network. As Special Advisor to the Minister for Culture, Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, he was closely involved in developing the UK government’s first policies for the creative industries. He was Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4 Television. He was a policy advisor to the Leader of the UK Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP. 

Roanne Dods

Roanne Dods has worked across the cultural sector in the last 18 years. She was the Director of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and has been the founding co-director of Mission Models Money with Clare Cooper since 2005. She also supported the start of The Work Room (for independent choreographers at Tramway, Glasgow); and IC: Innovative Craft (with Amanda Game and Elizabeth Goring). She was, until recently, Chair of BAC, Vice-Chair of Scottish Ballet.

Rachel Holmes

Rachel Holmes is the author of Eleanor Marx; A Life. She has worked with and for British Council literature festivals since 2000. Since 2012, she has been the UK chair of the Iraq Literature Festival and was director of Literature & Spoken Word at London’s Southbank Centre. In 2009, Holmes piloted the first Palestine Writing Workshop established by the Palestine Festival of Literature. In 2010, she received an Arts Council cultural leadership award as one of Britain’s Fifty Women to Watch.

Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group member Rachel Holmes

Ian Livingstone CBE

One of the founding fathers of the UK games industry, he co-founded Games Workshop in 1975; was co-author of the multi-million selling Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, was formerly chairman of Eidos plc, and is a key advisor to the Government on games-relevant issues. In 2010 was asked to act as the Skills Champion by Ed Vaizey, looking at how the UK could be transformed into the world's leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries.

Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group member Ian Livingstone

Marshall Marcus

Marshall Marcus is CEO of the European Union Youth Orchestra, Sistema Europe President, founder of Sistema Africa and advisor to Sistema Global. He has taught and advised Venezuela's Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar and the Eastern Partnership ‘I, Culture’ Orchestra. Prior to this he was Head of Music at Southbank Centre, and co-founder, Chair and CEO of the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment. Marshall also enjoyed a 25 year career as a professional violinist, performing in over 70 countries.

Marshall Marcus

John E. McGrath

John E. McGrath is Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival. Appointed to the role in 2015, John was previously Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, which he launched in 2009, achieving an international reputation for large-scale, site-specific work, digital innovation, international collaboration and extraordinary community involvement. John has worked as a theatre director in New York, London and was Artistic Director of Contact Theatre in Manchester from 1999 to 2008.

Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group member John E McGrath

Magdalene Odundo

Kenyan-born: educated in India, Kenya, UCA Farnham and RCA, London. Magdalene Odundo is a ceramic artist with over 30 years teaching experience. Currently Professor of Ceramics at University for the Creative Arts, Surrey & Kent. Received the African Art Recognition Award from Detroit Art Institute 2008 in recognition for contribution to African Arts and Education, Kenya Lifetime Art Achievement Award from African Heritage, Kenya 2012. 

Marina Salandy Brown

Marina is a Trinidadian cultural activist and journalist. Formerly an editor and senior manager in Radio and News and Current Affairs at the BBC, she is the founder and director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, held annually in Trinidad and Tobago, 'the biggest annual literary festival in the Anglophone Caribbean', and of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She was founding executive director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2005 and an advisor on film development to Creative TT.

Paul Seawright

Paul Seawright is Professor of Photography and Head of Belfast School of Art at the University of Ulster. His photographic work is held in many museum collections worldwide. In 2002 he was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum London to undertake a war art commission in Afghanistan and his photographs of battle-sites and minefields have been exhibited across the globe. In 2003 he represented Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art and in 1997 won the Irish Museum of Modern Art/Glen Dimplex Prize.

Paul Seawright

Francine Stock

Francine Stock has fronted a range of arts and current affairs programmes for BBC television and radio including NewsnightFront Row and The Film Programme. An Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, her published work includes two novels, short stories and film criticism. She was Guest Artistic Director of the Bridport From Page to Screen Festival 2012, is patron of Borderlines Film Festival and a vice-president of the Hay Festival.  

Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group member Francine Stock