Appointment of new Chief Executive for Arts Council of Wales

Cygnor Celfyddydau Cymru - Arts Council of Wales,
18 August 2022, Wales

Dafydd is currently Director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre. He started his career at HTV Cymru in the 1980s working on children’s and light entertainment output and between 1991 and1998 was Commissioning Editor and then Broadcast Director at S4C. In 2000 Dafydd set up his own independent production company, Pop 1, as part of the Tinopolis group. He was Content Director at S4C for five years from March 2012. He is also Chair of AM Cymru – the website, app and music streaming service established by PYST, for the arts in Wales - and has been a Trustee of the Arts Council of Wales since 2017.

"I’m so delighted that Dafydd Rhys will be our new Chief Executive. In a strong field of candidates, Dafydd impressed the appointment panel with the clarity of his vision for making the arts central in Welsh society and also with his commitment to empowering our talented staff to deliver that vision in collaboration with our vibrant arts sector.

A Welsh speaker from the industrial world of Carmarthenshire, Dafydd is passionate about reaching into the diverse communities of Wales where economic disadvantage has often limited people’s access to the transforming power of the arts. He is determined to widen participation and engagement with the arts on a basis of respect for local creativity.

This is exactly what he and his colleagues have been achieving at the bustling Aberystwyth Arts Centre where he has been Director for the last four years. The Centre presents a rich programme of performance and visual arts but is also deeply involved with the development of arts activity in the communities of Ceredigion.

Dafydd had a distinguished career in broadcasting driven by the ideal of ‘the best for the most’. As Director of Content at S4C and as a successful and influential figure in independent production companies, he fostered creative ambition and built strong collaborative relationships. Now he will bring that experience and his profound commitment to inclusion to the exciting task of leading the Arts Council of Wales. He will make a difference."

- Phil George, Chair, Art Council of Wales.


"I believe passionately in the value of the arts and their ability to make a difference to the life and well-being of our nation. While we face many pressing issues in the arts in Wales – not least the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis – I am convinced of the positive impact the arts can have on all aspects of our national life.

Having worked in the creative industries all my working life and having had hands on experience as Director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre since 2018, I have seen first-hand the impact the arts can have on the lives of people young and old and from all social backgrounds. I’m most grateful to Michael Elliott for the work he’s been doing as interim Chief Executive since March, and I look forward very much to leading the Arts Council of Wales, and building on firm foundations, as we continue our mission to ensure that the arts in Wales are for the benefit of all."

- Dafydd Rhys.


Dafydd’s appointment as Chief Executive includes the role of Accounting Officer for the Arts Council of Wales, and this aspect of his new role has been approved by the Welsh Government. Welsh Government has been involved in the recruitment process throughout.

Dafydd Rhys will start in the role of Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales in the autumn.

Dafydd will succeed Nick Capaldi who stepped down from the role last summer after 13 years in post and interim Chief Executive, Michael Elliott, who has been in post since early March 2022 following Chief Executive designate, Sian Tomos’ decision to step down on the grounds of ill health in September 2021.