The Arts Society is the operating name of  The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (“NADFAS”). NADFAS is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. 

It is registered with Companies House (no. 4307984), the Charity Commission (no. 1089743) and the Office of Scottish Charities (no. SC039240).

Charitable Objects

The promotion and advancement of the education of the public in the cultivation, appreciation and study of the decorative and fine arts; the conservation and preservation of the artistic heritage of the United Kingdom and other countries for the benefit of the public; and the advancement of the arts, culture and heritage, in particular, but without limitation, the decorative and fine arts.

Strategy 2023-2026: 

In November 2023 we launched our strategy for the next three years with an ambition to create an organisation fit for the future.

We want to make the arts mean more to more people. We believe our traditional model cannot achieve this alone and research we have undertaken suggests that thre federated, local Society model is no longer sufficient, by itself, to satisfy the proper fulfilment of the Charity's of the Charity's objects. Because of this, and to carry on delivering our charitable objects, we must invest resources in building new capabilities and expanding our business model to reach a more diverse range of audiences in new places. We will do this by prioritising technology and digital channels in our future planning and investment decisions, and by re-shaping our relationship with local Societies as a streamlined service. In order to create a self-reliant (and self-sustaining) business model for the charity we will restructure the governance and funding arrangements appropriately.  

​To read more details on our strategy and what we aim to achieve, please view the full strategy document here


For further details on the proposed governance reform including the governance pack, please visit our dedicated web page at:


The Arts Society is an international organisation supporting nearly 400 Member Societies in the UK and abroad. 

Member Societies

Each Member Society is run by a volunteer committee that manages the Society's affairs. In turn, Member Societies all belong to a local Area. Areas are run by teams, headed by an Area Chairman who reports to the Chief Executive of the National Association.

The Trustee Board

The Trustee Board is responsible for leading The Arts Society and decides on matters of policy, strategy and finance, while setting the objectives for the Chief Executive and Management Team. It is headed by the National Chairman - assisted by the National Vice-Chairman and Honorary Treasurer. The Board consists of Trustees elected by the membership and supported by additional Trustees co-opted for their skills. No Trustee may serve for more than two consecutive three-year terms.


Information on the elected Trustee vacancies open to Society members and the elections for 2024 is available here:

Area Meetings

Twice a year Society representatives meet to discuss views and raise concerns. The Chair of the Area Support Team (CAST) and his/her team are also responsible for the pastoral care of the Societies within their Area.

Staff at The Arts Society

The day-to-day running of the Association is administered by the Chief Executive and a small paid staff, who work closely with volunteers.


The Arts Society's AGM usually takes place in the month of May.  This year it was held on 24th May 2023 at St George's Bristol.  It was also live-streamed via Zoom.

The Zoom recording can be found here.

The AGM minutes can be found here