Jude Kelly is a creative artist who has combined directing, festival making, leading major arts organisations & contributing to national policy making around education, regeneration & culture. Jude Kelly Studios brings together her practice to develop new projects that further the relationship between culture, society & enterprise.
Jude is one of the world's foremost commentators and thought leaders on gender, creativity, diversity and inclusion. She speaks regularly to business, media, educational institutions and governments and is a regular broadcaster on a range of issues relating to society, art and education. She is currently a practitioner in residence at LSE and a thinker in residence at Mulberry School and regularly moderates or convenes sessions for a variety of audiences. Her TED talk - on why women must tell the stories of humanity - has been viewed over 1.5 million times.
Jude was artistic director of the Southbank Centre from 2006-2018- Europe’s largest Arts Institution and London’s 3rd biggest tourist attraction. She founded Solent People's Theatre in 1976 and was Artistic Director of the Battersea Arts Centre and was also the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. She led the cultural team for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid, based on the concept of ensuring the widest possible involvement of people across all nations and regions to celebrate their identity through cultural activity and shape the stories that are told, and then served on the Board of the cultural Olympiad.
Jude has created festivals and work that puts participation and engagement at the centre including WOW - Women of the World Festival, Being A Man, Unlimited, The Rest is Noise, Changing Britain, The Festival of Death, (B)old
Jude is an award-winning theatre and opera director. She has won two Olivier awards, a BASCA Gold Badge Award winner for contribution to music,
and a Sky Award for her opera work. She has directed over 100 productions including at the Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera, National Theatre, and the Châtalet in Paris including Ian McKellen in The Seagull, Patrick Stewart in Johnson over Jordon and Dawn French in When We Are Married.
WOW- Women of the World Festival
WOW festivals have taken place across five continents to date and over two million people have taken part so far
WOW – Women of the World festival celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. It was founded by Jude in 2010 and is now a global network of festivals. From Finland to Folkestone and Derry to Dhaka, crossing further continents to Harlem and Hargeysa, Brisbane and Baltimore, WOW continues to grow.
Metal is an artistic laboratory championing the need for investment in artistic innovation in the UK and providing practical support to practising artists
Jude founded Metal in London in 2002 and it has been active in Liverpool since 2004, in Southend-on-Sea since 2007 and in Peterborough since 2012. In each place, Metal works from buildings of historic significance that are transformed from empty or derelict spaces into vibrant cultural community hubs.
Drivers for Change is a charity on a mission to inspire, upskill and connect young people that are passionate about community-led social change
In June 2018 Jude founded Drivers for Change - a unique 11-day journey to inspire young leaders to be creative and entrepreneurial and to take ownership of driving change in their communities. During the journey,100 young creative and entrepreneurial participants exchanged ideas and skills - supporting each other to fulfil their potential and become a network of dynamic and diverse drivers for change.
Food for Thought
Food for Thought is an initiative around food and fellowship, building empathy and encounters
Food for Thought is a curated day of meals and conversation. It is an opportunity for encounters and story-telling specifically intended to address ignorance and conscious and unconscious bias between different social and cultural groups.
Dads and Daughters
Dads and Daughters is a project looking at the role of fathers and their daughters as vectors of change in gender equality
Fathers and Daughters is a project run with the Rothschild Foundation, LSE Marshall Institute and Metal Culture. The Dads and Daughters Colloquium at Waddesdon Manor will bring together an international group of male advocates for gender equality for a better world.
The Marshall Institute at the London School of Economics, works to improve the impact and effectiveness of private action for public benefit. For example, the activities of philanthropic foundations, social entrepreneurs, charities, NGOs and individual citizens, donating their time, money, ideas, knowledge and skills to serve the public good.
Place Based Regeneration
How do we create better cities, communities and places? Jude has a long track record of creating public projects that build a strong sense of community and she acts as an advisor on the role of arts in placemaking
BATTERSEA POWER STATION
Battersea Power Station Development Company announced a £6.8 million first-year investment in a cultural programme that includes a new arts venue, public artwork and a sculpture commission as part of the regeneration of the iconic London location. Jude has been a creative advisor to the team since
Associate Director of Culture
Wordsearch Place helps clients understand and appreciate the possibilities and prospects of cities, neighbourhoods, blocks, buildings, floors and rooms and helps to make sure places are designed for people. Creating better buildings, projects and cities.
The Laurence Olivier Award, Sarcophagus, 1987
The Laurence Olivier Award for the Outstanding Musical Production, “Singin’ in the Rain”, 2000
BASCA Gold Badge Award winner for contribution to music,
The South Bank Sky Arts Award, The Rest Is Noise, 2014
Red Magazine Creative Woman of the Year, 2014
OBE for her services to theatre, 2007
CBE for services to the Arts, 2015
CBI First Woman Award winner for Tourism and Leisure, 2016
Veuve Clicquot Woman of the Year Social Purpose Award, 2017
Evening Standard Progress 1000 Award, 2018
RIBA, Honorary Fellowship, 2020
"My most memorable moment was having Jude Kelly speak at a board meeting about how we need to use our power and privilege to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. It was phenomenal."
Sereena Abbassi, in Stylist Magazine
"Your session was universally acclaimed as the best session of our event, and many volunteered it as the most inspiring they had ever attended. I am with them"
BBC Studios, June 2018
"It was a super thought provoking session and triggered lots of debate even after Jude left. The challenge she posed to the group was great and I appreciated her calling out some difficult, thorny topics."
Sony, April 2019
“As we expected Jude, you were truly inspirational. So many of the art leaders in the room said how blown away they were by your words. You have certainly given us all lots to reflect on and inspired us to come together to lead change.”
Mary Nagele, CEO, Arts & Business Northern Ireland