Mayor appoints new Chair of Arts Council England’s London Area Council

26 March 2018

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced that he has appointed Ruth Mackenzie CBE as the new Chair of Arts Council England’s London Area Council.


Ruth will lead on the Arts Council’s work in London, join the body’s National Council, and play a significant role in shaping the future of culture and the creative industries in the capital at an exciting and challenging time.


Ruth is a well-respected cultural leader, with experience of working at the heart of the arts sector both in the UK and internationally.


She led the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural programme of any Olympic and Paralympic Games, which involved hundreds of events across the UK, engaging millions of people.


Ruth has also held positions at Scottish Opera, Chichester Festival Theatre and DCMS, she works as Artistic Director of Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and for the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. Ruth brings knowledge of government, the arts funding system, and a valuable European perspective to her new role.


Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives and bring communities together.


Joining the Arts Council in London, Ruth will take on its goals of increasing the reach of arts and culture in the capital, improving diversity and supporting more children and young people to access the benefits of the arts.


The process for appointing the new Chair is in line with the Arts Council England Royal Charter, and the GLA Act. The Chair of the London-based Area Council is appointed by the Mayor of London, following an open recruitment process, and has been approved by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Culture in London is the thread that joins us all together and Ruth’s wealth of experience in engaging people of all backgrounds in culture will be invaluable in this role. I look forward to working with her to strengthen culture for all in the capital.”


Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons, OBE, said: “I am so pleased Ruth Mackenzie will be the new Chair for the Arts Council’s London Area Council. Ruth is a brilliant and experienced cultural leader, with a deep understanding of the important role culture plays in London. She has an unwavering commitment to supporting artists and to the potential of culture to transform communities”


Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England said: "As we look ahead to our next 10-year strategy this is a timely appointment; we look forward to welcoming Ruth as the new London Area Chair for the Arts Council and to working closely with her and the Mayor in the future."


Ruth Mackenzie CBE, said: “I am honoured to be given the chance to work for Sadiq Khan and Justine Simons to create the best opportunities for the artists, creative industries, cultural institutions and above all the communities of London”



Notes to editors

  • Ruth Mackenzie will take up the role of Chair from 1 July 2018


Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.