Welsh young people’s music fund appoints first chief executive

Rhian Hutchings, Anthem Chief Executive

Anthem, the fund for young people’s music in Wales, has appointed Rhian Hutchings as permanent Chief Executive. Well known in the music sector in Wales and with a 15-year track record in community and participatory music and music education, Hutchings will take up the full-time post from 1 October 2020.

David Alston, Acting Chair for Anthem, said, ‘During the recruitment process we saw evidence of the passion people share for improving access, confidence, and diversity for our young people and their music. Rhian has shown great commitment to Wales’s young people and making a difference to their lives and futures. She has qualities of resourcefulness, enthusiasm, drive, understanding and savvy, that we feel will give Anthem resilience to meet its challenges.’

Anthem was established as an independent charity in 2018 to support the Welsh Government’s long-term ambition to deliver a National Music Endowment for Wales, with a remit of ensuring that music-making can be part of every young person’s life in the country.

Over the coming months, the organisation will be building up an executive team and developing a full range of fund-raising strategies. Anthem will also be publicising findings from its two initial research projects: a mapping of the sector and, in partnership with London-based charity Youth Music, a consultation with young people from around Wales.

The new chief executive was Creative Director for Newport-based community opera company, Operasonic from 2014, and Director of Youth & Community for Welsh National Opera from 2008-2014. She is also currently Chair of RESEO, the Opera, Music and Dance Education Network for Europe, and former Partnership Manager for ArtWorks Cymru, the participatory arts network.

Rhian Hutchings said, ‘Anthem has an extremely important job to do. Our culture has music at its heart and yet, the pathways to, and progression routes in music have been seriously eroded over the last ten years.

‘The board has already begun its work to build a long-term, sustainable future for young people’s music in Wales, in partnership with young people and those who work with them: philanthropists, trusts, foundations and businesses.

‘I am thrilled to be joining them at this vital time in Anthem’s development – coming as it is at a very difficult time for the whole of the music and youth sector and the country.’

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