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

Marshall Marcus

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.

Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group member John E McGrath

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.

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

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.

Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group member Francine Stock

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.  

Russell Willis Taylor

Russell Willis Taylor

Russell Willis Taylor was Director of development at Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before establishing ENO’s first fundraising department. She subsequently became ENO Executive Director (1997-2001). Other positions include head of corporate relations at Stoll Moss; director of The Arts Foundation; chief executive of Year of Opera and Music Theatre (1997). She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognised in this way.