The Board sets the strategic direction for the Arts Council and oversees the work of the Executive.
The Council was established as a statutory body by the Arts Council (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 on 1 September 1995. It is funded via grant-in-aid by the Department for Communities and is managed by a Board. Members are appointed by the Minister for Communities.
The Board consists of the Chairman, Mr Liam Hannaway, plus 11 members and meets on a regular basis. The Board members, including Vice-Chair, Mr William Leathem, are drawn from a broad cross-section of representatives from the arts and cultural sector.
The Council is made up of the Chairman plus 11 members, providing a broad cross-section of expertise and including representatives from the arts and culture sector.
On 1 February 2021, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey appointed Mr Liam Hannaway as Chair and Mr William Leathem as Vice-Chair of the Arts Council NI Board.
She has also appointed the following individuals as Board Members:
- Mr Paul Boyle
- Mr Paul Brolly
- Mr Joe Dougan
- Mrs Laura McCorry
- Dr Gearoid Trimble
These appointments are effective from 1 February 2021 until 31 January 2025. Mr Hannaway previously served as an Arts Council NI Board Member from 1 July 2020 to 31 January 2021.
All appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. A selection panel, which includes an independent assessor, as required under the Commissioner’s Code, considers the suitability of all candidates. The final decision on the appointments rests with the Minister.
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 declared) to be published.
The post of Chairman receives an honorarium of £10,100 per annum, the post of Vice-Chair receives an honorarium of £3,535 per annum. The members’ positions are unpaid, with members receiving expenses only.
The Chairman and Council members have individual and collective responsibility to the Minister for Communities (or, in the absence of a locally devolved administration, a Minister from the NIO) for the governance of the Arts Council.
The Arts Council has a key role to play in developing and improving the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts, and increasing public access to and participation in the arts. It is also responsible for the distribution of Lottery grants. Its statutory functions are set out in The Arts Council (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.
The Board is responsible for:
The Board provides leadership for the organisation. It is the Board’s responsibility to define and develop the strategic direction of the Arts Council.
Providing Public Accountability
We invest and distribute public money to the arts across the Northern Ireland. The Board is committed to acting in a way that promotes the highest standards of public finance at every level.
The Board monitors the performance of the organisation to ensure that aims and targets are being reached.