The Robert Maskrey Award for Arts Philanthropy 2019
Sponsored by Welsh Government
Winner: Babs Thomas, OBE
Babs Thomas, OBE & Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, AM
Image by Glenn Edwards
Babs Thomas has supported many Welsh cultural organisations, large and small, over three decades. Her commitment to the arts ranges from cash support to serving as a dedicated Trustee and active fundraiser.
She has been key to the sustainability of The Aloud Charity since the establishment of Only Boys Aloud (OBA) in 2010. Over the last decade, she has financially supported the OBA choir in Cardiff, organised and hosted fundraising events and is one of the key advocates and ambassadors for the charity. As a highly valued member of Aloud’s Board of Trustees for five years, Babs displayed a deep understanding of and passion for the organisation’s transformative work for young people through singing.
With a special interest in music, Babs is a long-term supporter of Welsh National Opera, making the largest individual gift in the company’s history. She also aided Wales Millennium Centre’s capital project with a six-figure donation, and since 2013, she has been a top level member of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s Individual Giving programme. Most recently, Babs made a major gift to the College’s USA campaign, creating new scholarships for Welsh and American students.
Babs’ commitment and generous philanthropy, allied with the arts organisations’ strongly expressed gratitude for her vital and staunch hands-on support and friendship, convinced the judges that she was the outstanding winner of this year’s award.