5 Dec 2006 01:15 PM

Leading arts professional and government policy director to join Arts Council in New Year.

Two leading figures from the worlds of arts and government will shortly join Arts Council England’s national senior management team. Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford, currently heading the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA), takes up the post of Executive Director, Arts Strategy, while Althea Efunshile moves from the role of Director of Vulnerable Children Group at the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to become Executive Director, Arts Planning and Investment. Both will join Arts Council England in the New Year.

Peter Hewitt, Chief Executive Arts Council England, said:
“The appointments of Gus Casely-Hayford and Althea Efunshile are of immense significance to Arts Council England, and Council and I are delighted to have attracted people of such high calibre. Both are highly experienced, dynamic and visionary leaders, soon to occupy key positions at the very heart of our organisation. The arts in this country have never been stronger, and the appointments of Gus and Althea will bring further expertise and authority to the Arts Council. They will play a pivotal role in helping us to capitalise on the opportunities and to meet the challenges of the coming period – benefiting the full diversity of artists, arts organisations and, equally importantly, the public who engage with the arts across the country.”

Gus Casely-Hayford commented:
“I am greatly looking forward to bringing my passion for, and knowledge of, all the arts to this important new leadership role at Arts Council England. This country is changing, and so are the arts. New challenges in a period of shifting demographics, growing diversity and fast-moving technology are creating many new opportunities for the arts and for the public that engages with them. I consider myself to be extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with such an interesting brief and such a talented team at this exciting time in our cultural history. "

Althea Efunshile commented:
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the new leadership team at Arts Council England at this time of great creativity and dynamism in the arts. The arts are of immense value to individuals and communities and can also play a part in addressing issues of importance to society as a whole. I am looking forward to utilising my experience of national and local government and the community education sector to strengthen our interface with Government, demonstrate the value of the arts and apply rigour and focus to ensure that we deliver even more for the arts and for audiences."

Gus Casely-Hayford
As Executive Director of inIVA, Gus Casely-Hayford has led their successful capital campaign, restructured the organisation and raised substantial investment from commercial and public sector partners. Prior to that he instigated and then led the delivery of the immensely successful Africa 05 initiative, which involved more than 150 cultural organisations, including the BBC, who undertook their largest ever cross-corporation support for an arts season. Gus also led the British Museum’s diversity programme, where he negotiated the first National Museum Directors’ joint declaration on diversity.

Gus is currently filming the television series the Big Art Project for Channel 4, which will air in 2008, and he regularly writes for the national media and arts sector press. He has directed and produced arts programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 and is a member of Tate Britain’s Council and a Clore Fellow. Gus has lectured at the Royal College of Art, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Goldsmiths College. He gained a PhD in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University.

Althea Efunshile
Althea Efunshile has held senior leadership positions within DfES since 2001. In her current post, she leads a team of 80 staff and manages an annual budget of £312m. Her recent achievements include the development and launch of the Children in Care Green Paper. From 2003-2006 she was Director of the Safeguarding Children Group at DfES, where she led and delivered the department’s response to the Bichard Report following the Soham murders. As Director of the DfES’s Children and Young People’s Unit from 2001-2003, Althea set up the £450m Children’s Fund programme to ensure every local authority delivered preventative programmes for 5-12 year olds at risk of social exclusion, and she led the development of the “Outcomes Framework” which has since become an essential aspect of children’s services across the country.

Prior to this, Althea was Director of Education and Community Services, then Director for Education and Culture at the London Borough of Lewisham. Among her achievements was the development of Lewisham’s Cultural Strategy. Althea gained a BA (hons) in Sociology from the University of Essex and a PGCE from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

For more information contact:
Rick Behari, Arts Council England on 020 7973 6890

Notes for editors:

  1. Arts Council England’s Executive Directors for Arts Strategy and Arts Planning and Investment are part of a national team of four who, with nine regional Executive Directors, report to the Chief Executive. The other national post-holders are Andrew Whyte, Executive Director, Advocacy and Communications and Keith Harrison, Executive Director, Resources.

  2. Arts Council England’s new national office structure came into being on 1st November 2006. It has four new teams:

    Arts Strategy - delivering national leadership and an international overview for the arts, developing policy and strategy, and establishing national and international partnerships.

    Arts Planning and Investment – leading the relationship with the government sponsor department, establishing partnerships with other government departments, developing investment strategies for the arts and leading in terms of planning and performance evaluation.

    Advocacy and Communications – leading the organisation’s campaigning, communications and public affairs strategies.

    Resources – operational delivery across the organisation, providing leadership on finance, human resources, information technology and corporate governance

  3. Arts Council England works to get more art to more people in more places. We develop and promote the arts across England, acting as an independent body at arm’s length from government. Between 2006 and 2008, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and the National Lottery in supporting the arts. This is the bedrock of support for the arts in England. We believe that the arts have the power to change lives and communities, and to create opportunities for people throughout the country.

For 2006 to 2008, we have six priorities: taking part in the arts, children and young people, the creative economy, vibrant communities, internationalism and celebrating diversity.