Jude Kelly was appointed artistic director of Southbank Centre, Britain's largest cultural institution, in 2006.
She founded Solent People's Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, and was the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 1997, she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre, and in 2015 she was made a CBE in the New Year honours for services to the Arts. She has directed over 100 productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Châtalet in Paris.
In 2002, Kelly founded Metal, a platform where artistic hunches can be pursued in community contexts, with bases in Liverpool, Southend-On-Sea and Peterborough. She led the cultural team for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid and then served on the Board of the cultural Olympiad. She is a regular broadcaster and commentator on a range of issues relating to society, art and education.
Kelly created the WOW – Women of the World Festival in 2011. In 2011 she created the WOW: Women of the World Festival, now heading into its 7th year at Southbank Centre as well as in other parts of the UK and in countries all over the world.
(Photo: Kalpesh Lathigra)