First Artistic Director of Pontio appointed

Bangor University has appointed Elen ap Robert as the first Artistic Director of Pontio, the University’s new £40m arts and innovation centre.

She will be responsible for developing a range of artistic activities for a wide variety of audiences, as well as using the arts to develop strong links between the University and the community.

Elen graduated in music at the University of Sheffield before spending six years as a professional opera singer. She has also worked as a music therapist specialising in supporting children with learning disabilities and communication difficulties in Gwynedd, Ynys Môn and Conwy.

Since 2005 she has been the Artistic Director of Galeri in Caernarfon where she has developed a very successful programme of artistic events and community activities.

Bangor University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John G Hughes said: “I am delighted to welcome Elen as the first Artistic Director of Pontio.

“The project is a hugely exciting initiative which will bring so much to the region. The Artistic Director is key to developing not only the theatre element of the centre, but much more including contributing to the growing community based programme, and working with the University’s students.

“Pontio, which is due to open in two years’ time, is designed to bring together arts, science, technology and the creative industries and stimulate the economic regeneration of the region. The post of Artistic Director is pivotal to Pontio’s long-term development, and we were determined to appoint a Welsh speaker to this role.”

Elen ap Robert said: "I'm delighted to be appointed as the first Artistic Director of Pontio. This is a great challenge, and one that I'm very much looking forward to, particularly as we have so much to do between now and the opening of the centre. Pontio has a great deal to offer the region, and there's a fantastic opportunity for us to develop a new and innovative creative programme that will have something to interest everyone of all ages."

Elen will take up her post in April.

Publication date: 3 January 2012