OPPORTUNITY: Chair of Trustees for Abandon Normal Devices

Thu 30 Jan 2020

Established in 2009, Abandon Normal Devices (AND) produces and presents one of the biggest and critically respected new media arts festivals in the UK alongside a portfolio of film happenings, exhibitions, performances, online projects, residencies and public realm interventions. 

Over the last 10 years AND has commissioned over 100 new works, in the UK and internationally, with pioneering and award-winning artists. Cited as an exemplar in the digital realm by DCMS and Arts Council, AND continues to enter new territories and break new ground.

Our current Chair of Trustees, Howard Rifkin, will step down in 2020 after six years in the role and so we are seeking an exceptional individual to help guide the organisation into its next exciting phase. 

The Chair works closely with AND’s Director and is supported by a strong Board of Trustees on governance, financial and strategic matters and relationships with key stakeholders. 

We are looking for someone who has a range of skills and experience, most notably organisational and strategic leadership and senior management experience, ideally in the arts, as well as excellent advocacy skills, ability to exercise financial oversight and above all someone with a passion for AND’s work and its artistic ambitions.

If you would like an initial, informal and entirely confidential discussion about the role please contact howardrifkin@btinternet.com

*Please note this is a voluntary role but appropriate expenses can be paid.

AND’s next Chair will build on Howard’s substantial success and legacy continuing to work with AND’s Director, Executive Team and the Board of Trustees helping shape and lead AND into the next chapter of its history. 


  • Provide strong leadership for the organisation, working with the Director, take a lead role in the public representation of and advocacy for AND
  • Develop and manage an effective Board, ensuring members understand their roles and responsibilities
  • Ensure diversity of membership and skills within the board
  • Guide and ensure good governance
  • Line manage and support the AND Director
  • Work collaboratively and cohesively with other board members and AND’s Director
  • Effectively set agendas for, chair and manage meetings


  • A good understanding of the cultural, artistic, economic, social and political context that AND operates in
  • A passion for and commitment to contemporary and experimental arts, digital culture and new cinema, as well as AND’s mission, vision and values
  • An understanding of the value and importance of supporting and developing emerging cultural practices 
  • The ability to dedicate time and effort to support the organisation and willingness to play an active role in business development
  • An established leader with a successful track record of working in their field and demonstrating strategic vision
  • High-level advocacy, communication and influencing skills
  • Be active in relevant, established and diverse professional networks
  • An excellent understanding of good governance, and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of the trusteeship of a charity
  • A clear understanding of the distinction between the roles of Chair, and the Board more widely, and that of the Director and the artistic team
  • Experience of chairing formal meetings and how to work effectively through committees and informal task groups
  • The ability to lead, and operate as a member of a team, and to both inspire and empower others to be proactive in their roles on the Board


  • Willingness to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life 
  • A commitment to equality and diversity
  • Commitment to always work the best interests of AND, without regard to personal interest or benefit
  • The ability to think creatively alongside the ability to focus on practical issues
  • The willingness to speak their mind and listen to others
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences
  • No significant conflicts of interest

Application Process

If you would like to be considered for Chair, we ask for a CV and letter of application setting out why you are interested in the role and what skills and experience you would bring to AND, submitted to Vice-chair Katie Moffat katie@prandsocial.com.

Image: M:Blem the train project by HeHe

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