Handover at Impact Arts as Jim Sweeney named new Chair

September 10, 2019 Press Release

One of Scotland’s leading community arts groups, Impact Arts, has confirmed Jim Sweeney will take over from Piper Group Chief Executive, Theresa Shearer, as its Chair.

Shearer will step down in October following a highly successful five and a half years as a member of the charity’s board, half of which were served as its Chair.

Shearer goes on to join the advisory board of Young Scot.

Impact Arts helps people and communities transform their lives through creativity and the arts. Established in 1994, the charity uses the arts and creativity to enable and empower social change, providing workshops and support to all budding artists in communities across Scotland. In 2017/18 the charity directly engaged with 4,764 people through 67 projects. Almost half of the people supported by the charity are from some of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

During her tenure, Shearer has helped the organisation to celebrate its 25th anniversary, culminating in the successful #MakingAMark campaign.

The announcement comes at the end of an extensive recruitment process and Shearer’s successor, Jim Sweeney, comes into the role with extensive experience in the third sector and in supporting young people. He is the former head of youth work agency, Youth Link Scotland, as well as current Vice-Chair of Young Scot. Theresa Shearer said:

“During my time as Chair, I have been humbled by the people I have met and inspired by the hard work of all the staff and supporters. I have been privileged to work with a dedicated Board helping the organisation grow and expand its reach across Scotland.


“I wish Jim every success in the role as Chair. He joins the organisation at a very significant time, and I know that everyone will benefit from his wealth of expertise.


“At the heart of the charity are the people we exist to empower through the arts. Their voice has been – and will continue to be – critical in guiding the charity’s success as Impact Arts continues its work to transform children and young people’s lives through impactful arts and creativity, growing community resilience through creative engagement and supporting older people to take part in life-enriching projects. I wish Jim and everyone at Impact Arts every success for the future.”



Jim Sweeney said:

“I am delighted to be taking up the position of Chair of the Board at Impact Arts at what is a very exciting time for the organisation. Having consistently worked with young people during my previous roles, I know the benefits that participating in the arts can bring to individuals and communities. The work Impact Arts does to support people, of all ages, to find that creative spark has helped it to earn its prominence and I can’t wait to continue the great progress made by Theresa and the whole team.”



Impact Arts Director, Fiona Doring, said:

“The board and entire staff team at Impact Arts Board cannot stress enough how grateful we are to Theresa for the leadership, passion and creativity she has brought during her time as Chair. Her impact will be felt for years to come, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary and look forward to the future with Jim as our new Chair, continuing to support people to get all the benefits that engaging with the arts can bring.”

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