CULTURE CENTRAL, the new cultural development agency for Birmingham has confirmed the appointment of its first Director, Gary Topp, an experienced CEO and leader in the cultural and not-for-profit sectors.
With a founding membership of 14 of the city’s cultural and heritage organisations, CULTURE CENTRAL is an open membership body representing and working on behalf of all of Birmingham’s arts organisations, practitioners, agencies and organisations engaged in the cultural sector. CULTURE CENTRAL’s ambition is to raise the profile of the city’s world class culture and to build upon the considerable successes already achieved through cultural bodies working collaboratively.
Gary Topp’s recent projects have included Development Director for the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Launch Director for the University of Bristol Innovation Programmes. He has been a CEO and manager in several organisations in the UK and Australia, including Yorkshire Culture, Greening Australia and the Curzon Community Cinema. He was a visual arts curator and museums professional in his early career and maintains a deep interest in contemporary ceramics and painting as both a collector and writer. He is Chair of Trustees at Circomedia and an RSA Fellow.
Talking about his appointment, Gary said:
“This is a very important time for cities globally, and for the role that culture plays in defining, creating and celebrating them in ways that encompass economy, community, place and purpose. Culture Central represents an important new way of working collaboratively and ambitiously at city scale and the cultural sector in Birmingham is ideally placed to lead this approach. I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues across the city, and across the sector, to develop Culture Central and build new ways of working together that amplify further the amazing work that is already happening.”
On behalf of Culture Central, Dorothy Wilson (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of mac birmingham) said:
“We are delighted to welcome Gary to Birmingham. His track record of building successful partnerships in civic arenas in this country and beyond give us every confidence that he is going to make a great contribution to the burgeoning creative and cultural sector and bring together everyone who shares the unstoppable ambition of Birmingham to innovate and build further the shared creative capital of this great city.”
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