We are proud to announce the appointment of a new Chair of our Board of Trustees, Michelle Matherson. Michelle has over 20 years’ experience working across major UK broadcasters and is currently Senior Creative Diversity Partner, Commissioning and Content, for the BBC. She will work alongside Gavin Barlow, CEO and Artistic Director, and the rest of the Executive and staff team at the Albany, to help the organisation as we emerge from our year as Lead Delivery Partner for London Borough of Culture 2022, and take on a new role as Anchor Cultural Organisation for Lewisham, strengthening our commitment to cultural democracy and engaging our local audiences in Deptford and Lewisham.

Michelle takes over from Dame Joan Ruddock, previous MP for Deptford and New Cross. Dame Joan will continue to support the Albany as Chair of our Building Development Committee.

At our AGM earlier this year, we also appointed two new trustees: Ahmet Ahmet, who leads on Inclusive Talent Development at Somerset House; and Aleksa Asme, a spoken word artist, actress, public speaker, facilitator and alumna of the Albany’s youth programme. Existing Trustee Kurban Haji was also re-elected.

We undertook an extensive recruitment drive to identify the new Chair, working alongside Achates Recruits. The remainder of the Board is made up of both elected and appointed members (including representatives from our resident organisations and engagement programmes). 

Chair of the Board, Michelle Matherson, said: “I’m excited to be leading the Albany into its next chapter. Over the next few months, I’ll be embedding myself into the organisation, meeting staff, participants and my fellow trustees, and exploring how I can best use my knowledge and experience to guide the Albany into the future.”

Outgoing Chair, Dame Joan Ruddock, said: “It has been an enormous privilege to chair the Board of the Albany for the past 9 years and to be so engaged in the rich cultural life of Deptford. My tenure saw the arts centre weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge into the leadership role of Lewisham’s highly successful London Borough of Culture year. I am delighted to be continuing my involvement with the Albany as Chair of the Development Board”

CEO Gavin Barlow said: “I would like to extend my thanks to outgoing Chair Dame Joan Ruddock for her invaluable support and guidance during her tenure. I am excited to begin working with Michelle, and to see how she can use her expertise to support our organisation in diversifying our audiences, increasing our profile following our London Borough of Culture year, and planning ahead for our redevelopment work.”

Anyone is welcome to become a member of the Albany, vote in our elections and attend our Annual General Meetings. More information can be found here.