Songlines | Jude Kelly announces resignation from Southbank Centre to lead Women of the World
12 February 2018

Jude Kelly announces resignation from Southbank Centre to lead Women of the World

By Rachel Cunniffe

Jude Kelly, CBE and artistic director at London’s Southbank Centre, has announced she will leave her current role in order to lead the global development of Women of the World Festival

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©Sara Shamsavari

Since joining the Southbank Centre in 2006, Jude Kelly has maintained the belief that art should be available to all, not just a privileged few. Through her bold programming and artistic vision, she has ensured the venue remains welcoming to all; over 26 million people visit the centre each year.

During her time as artistic director, Kelly has overseen a diverse array of projects, including Africa Utopia, Alchemy (celebrating the arts and culture of South Asia), Nordic Matters, classical and contemporary music festival The Rest is Noise, BAM: Being a Man, Imagine Children’s Festival and more. In 2015 she was awarded a CBE for services to the arts.

Perhaps her most notable achievement to date, however, has been founding WOW: Women of the World Festival in 2010. Now a global movement, the festival has been held 43 times, spreading to over 23 countries and across six continents. Comprised of theatre, talks, activism and more, the festival celebrates the talent, history and potential of females in all fields, while also underlining the barriers which continue to hinder the achievement of gender equality. Kelly plans to lead the further global development of WOW.

Read Jo Frost’s interview with Jude Kelly, and hear her exclusive Songlines playlist in the August/September 2017 issue (#130).

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