Jude Kelly is a theatre director and producer who spent twelve influential years as the Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, London. An incredible woman who’s impact on the UK arts is undeniable, Jude Kelly encomapsses the very meaning of being a female boss. A seasoned speaker, Kelly acts as an inspiration to anyone fortunate enough to hear her speak, and offers unrivalled insight into women in business, the arts and leadership.
As the Artistic Director of Southbank Centre in London, Kelly was responsible for overseeing five high profile galleries, performance venues and arts buildings, including the historic Arts Council Collection. Serving in this role from 2006 until 2018, Kelly ensured the delivery of the renowned National Touring Exhibitions, and proved herself an innovative, original and experienced leader for the largest cultural institution in Britain.
Prior to fronting the Southbank Centre, Jude Kelly had an equally successful career as a director. As early as 1976 she was involved in the industry when she founded Solent People’s Theatre, a touring company, and shortly after she took up a position as Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre. Through her ambition and passion for the arts, Kelly’s career grew from strength to strength and she has since directed over one hundred productions for the likes of the Royal Shakespeare Company, sat on the National Advisory Committee for Culture, Creativity and Education, and founded Metal Culture, a platform for creative ideas to be developed.
Currently Jude Kelly is devoted to her work as the director and founder of Women of the World Festival (WOW), an international event held in London to recognise the achievements of women. Additionally, Kelly shares her time as a speaker, aiming to empower women, champion the arts, and increase exposure for the challenges faced in the industry. Jude Kelly has taken to the prestigious TED stage on numerous occasions sharing talks such as ‘Why Women Should Share the Stories of Humanity’ and ‘Help I Need a Man’.
Named in ‘Theatreland’s Top 100 Players’ and ‘100 Most Powerful Women in the UK’, Jude Kelly is at the forefront of British culture. A determined, fearless and pioneering woman in the arts, Kelly is the ideal speaker to inspire, educate and motivate any audience.