Wales role for leading Derry culture year figure

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One of the leading figures behind Derry’s year as City of Culture has been appointed Artistic & Creative Director of Wales Millennium Centre.

Graeme Farrow has been Executive Programmer during Derry’s year as culture capital, and has had lead responsibility for the design and delivery of a £14.1m programme.

He said he is delighted to have landed the new post.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Wales Millennium Centre at such an exciting time in its history. As the centre approaches its 10th anniversary it is still very much in its youth and there is much to look forward to. Wales Millennium Centre is more than a venue, it occupies a key role nationally and internationally.

“I intend to work with colleagues to further develop its reputation internationally, to be truly world class, and to instil a dynamism that will ensure that Wales Millennium Centre is a cultural powerhouse that makes the best possible contribution to the local community and to the nation. I was hugely impressed by the warmth, attitude, skill and ambition evident in the people I met in Cardiff so I firmly believe that the sky is the limit for Wales Millennium Centre.”

Graeme was born and brought up in Sunderland and graduated from Leeds University in French and Philosophy.

He moved to Northern Ireland to undertake his MBA at the University of Ulster, and has since pursued a very successful career in the arts, in Belfast and subsequently Derry.

In 1999 he joined the Belfast Festival Team and in 2006 became its director, building it up to be one of the must-see arts festivals in Britain and Ireland. Prior to joining the City of Culture company he had been promoted to be Head of Culture and Arts at Queen’s University, Belfast, responsible not only for the festival but also the Queen’s Film Theatre and the Naughton Gallery.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Managing Director, Mathew Milsom said Graeme had a proven track record.

‘We are very fortunate to have recruited someone of Graeme’s calibre and experience of delivering such an amazing artistic programme for the UK City of Culture this year, which will have a lasting legacy.

“Next year we will mark our 10th anniversary and Graeme’s knowledge, experience and creative ambition is a perfect match for where we want to take the Centre over the next decade. In Derry he provided the creative vision behind the cultural transformation of a city, and I have every confidence that in coming to Wales he will undoubtedly contribute to changing the cultural landscape of our nation.”

Graeme, who was named one of Northern Ireland’s highest achievers under the age of 40, will start in his new role on April 1, 2014.