Frank Hayes – Chair 

Joined the board, 2020, Vice Chair 2022, Chair 2024

Creative Health Coordinator Frank has broad and varied experience as a photographer, illustrator and environmentalist as well as being the founder and Creative Director of For Enjoyment CIC, working within the arts in D&G for the last 15 years. Through this work, Frank has seen much success and recognition, including winning the D&G Community Champion Award. Frank is committed to nurturing the artistic ability within everyone and improving mental and social health, confidence and wellbeing through the power of art and creativity. He has developed productive partnerships with many organisations in D&G and throughout Scotland. Frank now works as Creative Programme Co-ordinator with OutPost Arts – Co-ordinators of Art in Healthcare for NHS D&G. Enhancing the wellbeing of patients staff and visitors through a comprehensive Arts programme. 

Yvonne Barber – Treasurer 

Joined the board, 2022, Treasurer 2022

Yvonne has been involved in the arts since she was a teenager with Knowsley Youth Theatre in Liverpool. She is a qualified post-sixteen teacher. She did three years of drama school resulting in a degree and post-grad in Educational Management. She has been a manager in a large Further Education College and worked in education for over 25 years. In her current role she manages A’ the Airts, the prize-winning Community Arts Centre in Sanquhar where her main role is that of manager and fundraiser and has overall responsibility for the team and Centre.

Jonathan (Yoni) Bentovim

Joined the Board, 2024

Yoni is a film director based in London. His films, spanning documentary and fiction, have been programmed worldwide at festivals and for television broadcast, including Channel 4, France 3, SBS, RTP, The Guardian online, Victoria and Albert Museum, Barbican, NY Anthology Film Archives. His accolades include official selections and awards at internationally acclaimed film festivals including Tribeca, Montreal, Docaviv, Alchemy, Aspen shorts, Winterthur, Cameraimage , Raindance, East End, Split, Munich, Imago, Cinemajove, Fest Tous Courts, Sao Paulo and Los Angeles Film Festival. Jonathan teaches experimental film and media at The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.

Dionne Braham

Joined the Board, 2024

Dionne is a dynamic and creative facilitator of change with a passion for developing transformational organisations, communities and leaders. Having studied Education and Drama as an undergraduate, creativity has always been an intrinsic part of her consultancy practice and delivery. Using the arts as a learning medium, Dionne intends that her training is a memorable experience and not simply a series of knowledgeable moments. Alongside this Dionne also holds a Master of Science degree in Combined Psychology (clinical & behavioural) with over 25 years’ experience of delivering courses that create opportunities for people to expand thinking, growing new possibilities and create practical, emergent strategies that enable sustainable change. Her commitment to the area of equity and inclusion infuses her work and her approach is influenced by the works of Paulo Freire, Audre Lorde and Bell Hooks, amongst others. Dionne has recently returned to her love of ceramics and is excited about moving back into the creative world.

Steven Burnie 

Joined the board: 2024

Steven is Grey’s School of Art alumni and an established visual artist with a studio in Dumfries. He has a role with Turning Point Scotland, leading a team of artists to deliver workshops and one-to-one sessions to vulnerable adults and young people who have complex needs. This role includes several responsibilities, such as, project monitoring and evaluation, ensuring outcomes, meet funding criteria, recruiting/interviewing, supporting and developing staff, establishing and growing partnerships and cross-sector partnerships. Steven has a strong network of contacts in the creative sector Dumfries and Galloway.

Paul Denney

Joined the Board, 2024

Paul is a senior special effects designer in the film and live events industries and a former District Councillor from Stroud in Gloucestershire. In 2014 Paul designed, built, installed, and operated all the winter special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Russian winter Olympics in Sotchi. Paul also designed effects for the 2018 film “Blade Runner 2049” which won the BAFTA and the Oscar for best Visual Effects. Paul describes himself as a creative engineer who uses his knowledge of electronics and engineering to create the magic of the silver screen. His role with Stroud District Council as vice chair of the Environment committee saw the council become the first and only local authority in Europe to become carbon neutral in its operations. Paul is passionate about the Film and TV production industry and is keen to promote it in Scotland in general, and in D&G in particular. Paul also has a passion for sustainability, renewable energy and the environment. Paul moved to Dumfries and Galloway in 2020 and lives just outside Dumfries with his wife and youngest son.

Lucy Lee 

Joined the board, 2024

Lucy is an artist and runs a creative business, The Old Mill in Palnackie. In the building is a gallery space and bookshop as well as a studio where they facilitate regular workshops on making ‘sustainable’ art materials with a focus on nature connection and cultural heritage. She completed a BA (Hons) in ceramics in 2006, however this is no longer her medium. She worked several internships and volunteer roles, both in the UK and abroad in arts organisations amongst others. She has worked and continues to work with people with complex support needs and hopes to provide a creative supportive service in the future. She has experience in working one to one with autistic people in need of support, people with chronic fatigue and chronic pain, people with mental health challenges and people with learning differences. Although her main focus is the business, she continues to have part time roles and volunteer within this area.

Ailsa Mackay

Joined Board 2024

Ailsa is a Research Centre and Programme Manager with extensive experience working across academia, government, and practice, specialising in community resilience capacity building. Based in Dumfries and Galloway, she is also an established practicing artist and art tutor. Ailsa leverages the unique characteristics of the creative sector, blending practical experience, academic evidence, and community insights to demystify complex concepts, bridge understanding gaps, and empower individuals to make informed decisions. Passionate about fostering community cohesion and cultivating preparedness for environmental changes, Ailsa employs creative approaches to enhance health and well-being. Her work helps individuals build resilience against life’s inevitable challenges. As a co-author of several research projects, Ailsa has explored community resilience building and fostering resilience in young people with special needs, demonstrating her commitment to empowering communities and promoting sustainable, resilient futures

Cynthia Moore

Joined the Board, 2024

With over 20 years of experience, including working in global STEM organisations, managing large Business Transformation Programmes as Programme Manager, as well as running her own business, Cynthia has learnt about Strategy, Transformation & Leadership excellence from different perspectives. She now brings that wealth of experience to her work as an Executive & Business Coach and Strategy Consultant. As part of her work, Cynthia has been supporting small and medium enterprises (SME’s) across the South of Scotland with their business development; creating new revenue streams, increasing profitability and helping create sustainable business models. Cynthia has also been involved with charitable works for Business Captain with XForces Enterprise, supporting Service Leavers and Veterans in starting their own business.  

Julian Watson 

Joined the board, 2018

Julian holds a degree in Fine Art, specialising in both its history and his own artistic practice. This was followed by a diploma in Picture Conservation. Currently, he works as a freelance consultant in the Third Sector and Community spheres, sometimes operating independently but frequently collaborating with others. Julian’s work transitioned to encompass the “total economics” of restoring historic buildings for new purposes, encompassing the benefits and challenges of such endeavours. This also included land management, social surveying, support, and programming associated with these projects. Since 2014, Julian has worked as an independent associate consultant with Creetown Initiative.