Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) Appoints new Director

Contemporary arts charity, Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) is delighted to announce it has appointed a new Director, Elaine Midgley, to the BCA team. Midgley comes to Bedford after ten years in Cambridge, most recently as Business Development Director for Cambridge Live and previously, Arts and Events Manager for Cambridge City Council.

Elaine Midgley joins BCA with a mission to boost growth and development and build on significant projects such as PROCESSIONS and Clubhouse, as well as the successful The Culture Challenge initiative for schools and creative professionals, and recent events such as The Question of Collaboration symposium, which included internationally renowned artists on its panel of guest speakers. 

Commenting on her appointment Midgley said: 'BCA already punches above its weight as a small arts organisation making a huge difference to the local community and beyond. I seek to raise the profile of BCA across the region and nationally as a shining example of best practice in culturally engaging contemporary arts activity that is truly collaborative and participatory for the communities it serves. Our status as a National Portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council for the next four years, gives us a solid platform on which to build and grow the breadth and reach of our programme into more geographic locations, more communities and a wider variety of creative disciplines.' 

Midgley will lead a team of nine members of staff based at the charity's premises in Midland Road, as well as the independent artists and freelancers that support BCA to manage and deliver a diverse community-based series of arts projects and activities that engages directly with local people. 

In her most recent post as Business Development Director at Cambridge Live, Midgley was responsible for fundraising, leading the major events programme and business management, bringing with her a wealth of specialist skills as well as a solid and ambitious vision for the future development of BCA

Asked about her approach to leading the organisation, Elaine Midgley said: 'I like to think of myself as a pragmatic idealist. I encourage dreaming, fresh ideas and innovation but with a practical approach to getting the job done. I hope to enable the ideas of the creative team to bloom and retain the wonderful sense of warmth and friendliness that exudes from the staff here at BCA.'

Midgley's notable accomplishments include: lead project manager for the Cambridge visits of the Olympic Torch Relay in 2012 and Tour de France 2014 on behalf of the City and County Councils in Cambridge. Her legacy there includes securing new funding and income streams and improving this year on year. She has overseen events including Cambridge Folk Festival (the UK's leading folk music festival) and Cambridge-based community events such as the annual Bonfire Night display and The Big Weekend. She is also responsible for founding and cultivating the Cambridge Arts Network membership organisation.

David Morrall, Chair, Bedford Creative Arts, says of the appointment: "I am delighted that Elaine has joined BCA as Director. The Board of Trustees has been through a rigorous process of selection to find an individual with the passion and drive to build on the success of BCA and enable us to continue to deliver high quality experiences for our growing audiences. Elaine has these qualities in abundance and we are very excited that she is joining BCA to lead us into a future for which we have big ambitions."