Our Senior Leadership Team is made up of five members: Nick Capaldi, Kath Davies, Sian Tomos, Diane Hebb and Rebecca Nelson. You can read more about their backgrounds and areas of expertise below.
Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive
Nick Capaldi has been Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales since September 2008. He was previously Executive Director of Arts Council England South West, and before that Chief Executive of South West Arts. Nick Capaldi has been a Board member of Culture South West and Chair of the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, a pioneering public/private initiative.
During his time with the Arts Council, the South West of England benefited from a £75m Lottery capital investment, and Nick Capaldi played a leading role in bringing to fruition some of the region's most important arts and cultural facilities.
A graduate of Manchester's Chethams Music School, the Royal College of Music and City University in London, Nick Capaldi's career in the arts started as a professional musician. This included extensive concert performances as well as broadcasts on radio and television.
Nick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by City University London in 2016. He is a Governor of Cardiff Metropolitan University and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Kath Davies, Director of Investment and Funding Services
Originally from the Swansea Valley, Kath graduated from Aberystwyth University with a degree in history and Welsh history. She then went on to complete a PhD in early American history – also at Aberystwyth but including study periods in Boston, Massachusetts. Kath also spent a year studying French history and literature at Strasbourg University.
Following a year’s apprenticeship with the National Museum of Wales, Kath took up a post with Anglesey County Council as Research and Museums Officer. She was involved in the establishment of Oriel Ynys Môn and was responsible for the exhibitions programme. During this time, Kath completed an MA in Museum Studies at Leicester University and also gained a diploma from the Museums Association in social history curatorship.
After 5 years in Anglesey Kath moved to Cardiff and took up a post with the Council of Museums in Wales as a Development Officer. This was a national brief which involved working with museums and galleries throughout the country and helping them meet national (UK) standards set by the then Museums and Galleries Commission. During this period she also contributed regularly to a range of museum publications and lectured in women’s history for the WEA.
Kath then took up her first role with the Arts Council as Senior Capital Projects Officer and during her first 5 years in post led on some ambitious schemes including the Wales Millennium Centre, the Riverfront in Newport, Theatr Mwldan and Galeri. She also went on to work on the redevelopment of Ruthin Craft Centre, Oriel Davies, Valleys Kids and Sherman Cymru.
Kath’s role has evolved and broadened considerably since she first joined the Council and she now heads up the Investment and Funding Services team which includes responsibility for Grant Funding Programmes, our RFO portfolio, Research and Evaluation, Information Services and Capital. She lives in Cardiff but relishes the opportunities to travel and work across Wales with a wide range of diverse organisations.
Sian Tomos, Director of Enterprise and Regeneration
Sian Tomos is the Director of Enterprise and Regeneration for the Arts Council of Wales. The role involves balancing the artistic aims of the sector with the need to be resilient, innovative and collaborative – particularly around business models, skills and training and entrepreneurship.
She also plays a wider role in the Arts Council of Wales senior management team and is the strategic lead for local government and sustainable development.
Having studied at the School of Art and Design in Coventry and trained on newspapers and as an advertising copywriter, Sian took up a very successful career in public affairs for some years working for, amongst others, the National Trust and The National Museum and Galleries of Wales.
She joined Arts Council of Wales on its inception in 1994 in order to return to her first passion which was the arts. During her career she has undertaken many varied roles including being the strategic lead for arts marketing in Wales, leading a review of music provision in North Wales, planning officer, senior capital projects officer.
She was the Regional Director for North Wales, Arts Council of Wales, for 10 years. During this time, the arts provision in the region was transformed with the opening of major capital re-developments such as Ruthin Craft Centre, Mostyn, and Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre. Sian was also a major champion for Galeri Caernarfon during its development journey as a social enterprise.
She is currently responsible for a team which is working on a number of innovative arts partnerships and collaborations including a pioneering regeneration programme Ideas: People: Places that uses the arts and creativity as a means of improving the spaces where people live, work and play. Other key responsibilities of the Enterprise and Regeneration Team include Music Industry Development, Broadcast Partnerships, Digital Arts, Collectorplan, Skills and Training, Business Development and Arts and Business.
Sian has served on numerous committees and groups and is a former independent Chair of the Standards Committee of Cyngor Gwynedd. She is passionate about the Welsh language and environmental issues and sits on both the Arts Council’s Welsh Language and Sustainable Development Monitoring Groups. She was also recently appointed to the Climate Change Commission for Wales and has pioneered a leadership approach in this area in the arts sector.
Diane Hebb, Director of Engagement and Participation
Diane Hebb is the Director of Engagement and Participation at Arts Council of Wales. The role involves developing, managing and implementing strategies and programmes that lead to more people creating, enjoying and taking part in the arts in Wales.
On completing her dance degree, Diane moved to Wales to join a dance in education company and then took up the post of Dance Animateur and Joint Team Coordinator with Rhondda Community Arts.
She joined Arts Council of Wales in 1992 as the Dance Officer and during her career she has undertaken many varied roles and responsibilities; she has been the strategic lead for Inclusion and Participation, has drafted the Council’s first equalities strategy and co-authored and overseen the implementation of its first arts and young people strategy.
She is currently responsible for a team which is working on a number of strands, including commissioned work aimed at progressing the engagement and participation agenda. Chief amongst these is her current role, working in partnership with the Welsh Government to develop an ambitious and pioneering arts and creative learning plan for Wales, designed to implement the recommendations from Professor Dai Smith’s review of arts in education.
Other key responsibilities of the Engagement and Participation Team include
- the Council’s Strategic Equality Plan,
- arts and health,
- audience development
- development of Wales’ presenting venues,
- participatory arts and community arts,
- arts and young people
- creative learning,
- community touring
- Night Out scheme.
Diane is passionate about community engagement and the transformational impact the arts can have on the lives of individuals and communities.
Rebecca Nelson, Director, Finance and Business Services
Rebecca took up her post in June 2019. Biographical details will be added shortly.