Barbara Matthews MBE

Director, Theatre at Arts Council, England
Governor of De Montfort University

Born in 1956, Ms Barbara Matthews, MBE joined the Board in September 2010 and is a member of the Finance and Human Resources Committee.  She is also a Pro Chancellor of the University, participating in key ceremonial events throughout the academic year.

Ms Matthews was educated at Uppingham School and Durham and City Universities. She holds a BSc in general science and a diploma in arts administration. She was made a Member of the British Empire in 1993.

Barbara is Director, Theatre at Arts Council, England. She is responsible for leading across Arts Council England in relation to theatre; providing a national and international overview and contributing to the Arts Council's broader programme of strategy and policy development.

She started her career as an arts marketer with the Old Vic Theatre in London. In 1982 she became the Executive Director of Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company, producing their work and touring it internationally. She subsequently became an Arts Consultant and Trainer and Executive Director of the Royal Court Theatre where she had responsibility for the business and managerial side of the organisation.

Before joining the Arts Council, Barbara served on the boards of the Brighton Festival, Hampstead Theatre and All Ways Learning, was chairman of the National Student Drama Festival and is a past President of the Theatrical Management Association. She is a trustee of the Arts Patrons Trust and a Governor of Ardingly College.

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