Arts charity appoints new chief executive

Penny Fosten joins Arts 4 Dementia after four years at the National Suicide Prevention Alliance

Penny Fosten

Arts 4 Dementia has appointed Penny Fosten as its new chief executive.

Fosten succeeds Nigel Franklin, who has stepped down after 11 years with the charity, which he joined as a trustee before taking on the top role in 2015. Franklin will continue to work with the organisation on a part-time basis.

Fosten joins Arts 4 Dementia after 15 years in the charity sector, most recently as executive lead at the National Suicide Prevention Alliance, a position she held for more than four years.

Arts 4 Dementia works with arts venues to develop programmes that empower, re-energise and inspire people living with early-stage dementia, and their carers, through artistic stimulation. The charity was founded in 2009 by Veronica Franklin Gould, who served as chief executive until 2015 and remains Honorary Life President of the organisation.

Nigel Franklin said: “It has been a huge pleasure directing the charity for the last six years, during which our income has trebled and we have developed some wonderful partnerships with the likes of The Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, the Science Museum, Central Saint Martins and many others.

“I look forward to working with Penny and seeing A4D go on from strength to strength.”

Tim O’Brien, chair of trustees at Arts 4 Dementia, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Penny Fosten on board as chief executive and look forward to working with her to broaden Arts 4 Dementia’s impact, building partnerships and reaching many more people living with dementia across the UK.”

Fosten told Third Sector: “I’m excited to be joining Arts 4 Dementia at a time full of opportunities. Having personally read poetry with people living with dementia I’ve seen how powerful the arts can be to create community, connection and build confidence.

She continued: "I look forward to working with our team, arts and heritage organisations, and artists to create more opportunities for creative spaces and activities that help people living with dementia, and their companions, to flourish.”

Fosten joined the organisation today (1 March).

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