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Doreen Foster

Doreen Foster Warwick Arts CentreIndustry Associate
Director, Warwick Arts Centre

Biography: Doreen is Director of Warwick Arts Centre a role she started in September 2018. As Director, she is responsible for the strategic direction of the Arts Centre, the quality, status and relevance of its artistic programme, its reputation and relationships with audiences and stakeholders. She sits on the Programme, Promotion and Evaluation Group which is led by Coventry City Council and is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Coventry City of Culture Trust and its activities. Alongside this work Doreen worked in partnership with City of Culture Trust, Coventry University, and People Make It Work to develop Transforming Leadership, a leadership development programme for Coventry which aims to create a more diverse and inclusive leadership profile across the City.

Doreen joined the Arts Cente from Black Cultural Archives in Brixton where she was Deputy Director. In that role she project managed the £6m capital project and opening of the first purpose built national archive collecting material and creating exhibitions that raise awareness and stimulate curiosity about the presence of black people in Britain before and since 1948. She led strategic planning and business management and set up and managed the charities trading activities. Whilst in this role she co-curated the opening exhibition Re:imagine: Black women in Britain (2014), Voices of 1981 (2015) and Rites of Passage (2016). Managed the production of Staying Power (2015) a V&A collaboration and Black Sounds (2017).
Doreen was the first Director of Bernie Grant Centre, Tottenham where she directly managed the £15m capital project a new arts centre designed by award winning architect Sir David Adjaye. She managed the establishment of the live programme, creative learning activities and an incubation hub for creative businesses. She has worked for the Arts Council leading strategic planning and governance at a national level and as Dance and Mime Officer for the West Midlands region.

Roles outside the cultural sector include Director, West Midlands Social Economy Partnership a regeneration programme comissioning action research projects to inform a regional strategy for social enterprises in the region. And, Chief Executive of Birmingham Partnership for Change a charity developing strategies to address the under-achievement and under-employment of black people in Birmingham.

Doreen is a Trustee of Heart of Glass (St Helens) a Creative People and Places programme, RYTDS and Triangle Trust. Previous board and panel memberships include: Trustee Clean Break Theatre Company, Panel Member, Gulbenkian Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations; Committee Member, Inspiring Science Fund Committee: UK Research & Innovation and Wellcome Trust and Advisory Group Member, Object Journeys, British Museum.

In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by University of Wolverhampton in recognition for her contribution to arts and culture.