We are delighted to announce that Belinda McElhinney has been appointed as Imaginate's new Chief Executive. She will start on 1 February 2021 and is replacing Paul Fitzpatrick who is leaving to take up the post of Director of Creative Engagement at the National Theatre of Scotland.
Belinda said: “Imaginate has played a vital role in my professional life for over a decade and I’m delighted to be joining this incredible team. I have witnessed the positive impact of the work the organisation delivers, for both children and artists. It is now more pressing than ever that children have access to high quality performance work. I look forward to engaging with artists and children from across Scotland and ensuring we have a thriving theatre and dance sector for children and young people.”
Belinda brings with her a wealth of experience in the sector and an excellent reputation with both national and international partners. She is currently Executive Producer at Barrowland Ballet (2012-2018) and (2019-2020 maternity cover) one of the most successful contemporary dance theatre companies in Scotland. Barrowland Ballet’s work has toured internationally with shows such as Tiger Tale, Poggle, Whiteout and Playful Tiger for children and young people with complex autism. Prior to this she was Executive Producer at Take Me Somewhere and Arts & Cultural Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council. In 2016 Belinda founded a charity to provide an arts and participation programme for young refugees arriving on their own in Scotland. Belinda trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has a Masters in Young People, Social Inclusion and Change from Glasgow University.
Announcing the appointment, Laura Turney, Chair of Imaginate Board of Directors said: “We are delighted that Belinda will be joining the Imaginate team as our new Chief Executive in February next year. Belinda really impressed the board with her passion, energy and commitment to Imaginate’s values and aspirations for children, young people and artists. We believe she is absolutely the right leader for this organisation in these very challenging and uncertain times, driving forward our ambitions and commitment to creating great experiences and fantastic work for children and young people, with compassion and vision. We wish outgoing Chief Executive Paul Fitzpatrick every success in his new role.”