Change expert Monika Barnes appointed Deputy Chair of Poole Arts Trust


Poole Arts Trust Ltd, the charity that runs Lighthouse, has announced the appointment of vastly experienced organisational and culture change expert Monika Barnes as Deputy Chair alongside four new Trustees.

“These appointments ensure that we have a strong, hands-on Board that will ensure Lighthouse continues to be well managed, relevant and a true civic asset for our community,” says Lighthouse Chief Executive Elspeth McBain.

“Monika joined the Board in 2020, just weeks before the pandemic hit us, and since then has played an important role as a Trustee.

“Our Trustees are our unsung heroes, volunteering their time and expertise for the benefit of the organisation and for the arts and culture in the region.”

Monika’s career began in television where she worked in training and development for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 before setting up her consulting practice to provide organisational and strategic change, leadership development, EDI work and executive coaching to a global range of clients in the arts and media sector. As a result of an increasing focus on gender diversity in leadership Monika designed and launched Career Savvy Women, a specialist training programme that succeeded in increasing the number of women in senior roles.

Monika now holds a portfolio career and as well as her role at Lighthouse she is a board member of both Goldsmiths College University of London and AECC, a specialist Health Sciences University based in Boscombe, Dorset.

‘’Quite simply it is an absolute privilege to be Deputy Chair of Poole Arts Trust,” says Monika. “I had always admired Lighthouse from my visits as an audience member and now that I get to see behind the scenes I know how passionate, hard working and committed everyone is who works there.

“The year round programming is phenomenal in terms of its range and accessibility and the new branding ‘Different Every Day’ captures the vibrant, positive energy within the venue.

“One thing is for sure, Lighthouse never rests on its laurels and is ever mindful of its role within the local community and broader region. The pandemic highlighted the fragility of arts organisations, as does the current energy crisis and no doubt there will be many more challenges ahead.

“Nevertheless, we have an excellent strategic plan and I know all Lighthouse staff and volunteers will do whatever it takes to ensure Lighthouse retains its place as the cultural gem of Dorset.”

Poole Arts Trust is also delighted to announce that joining the Board are: Caroline Gitsham, Operations Director RNLI; retired Hospitality and Entertainment Operations and Development Director David Hoare; Tony Johnson, Chief Technology Officer at the Copyright Licensing Agency, a not-for-profit collective management organisation that works on behalf of authors, publishers and visual artists; and Channa Vithana, senior lecturer in Architecture at Arts University Bournemouth.

They join existing Board members: MT Rainey OBE, chair; Monika Barnes, deputy chair; Spencer Clarke, Director of Member Marketing at Nationwide Building Society; Alison Gannagé-Stewart, Executive Director of Woolwich Works; Prof Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor of Corporate Governance and Bournemouth University Business School and Chairman of Milestones Trust, a social care charity for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems; and Jane Webster, a trained dancer, performer and teacher who co-founded Dorset Dance (now Activate Performing Arts) and lectures on finance in Creative Events Management at Arts University Bournemouth.

Monika Barnes