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Jude Kelly to leave Southbank Centre

London SE1 website team

Southbank Centre artistic director Jude Kelly has announced that she is leaving the riverside arts complex after 12 years.

Jude Kelly
Jude Kelly mosaic at Morley College

Jude Kelly came to the South Bank in 2005 and has championed the ethos of the Festival of Britain in her programming of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery and Purcell Room, with a renewed emphasis on free events in the spaces between the main venues.

"It is difficult to imagine a more stimulating and enjoyable time than the twelve years I've spent at Southbank Centre – and I shall miss it terribly," said Jude Kelly CBE.

"With the centre in excellent hands, now is the perfect time for me to move on.

"In seven years WOW – Women of the World has grown from a single Southbank Centre festival to a significant presence on six continents and is now both intensely challenging and rewarding, with a terrific future ahead.

"As well as turning WOW into a global movement I shall be developing new artistic projects that arise from the core WOW idea. It is a very exciting time!"

Susan Gilchrist​, Chair of Southbank Centre's board of governors​, ​said: "Under Jude's artistic leadership, Southbank Centre has flourished as an open and welcoming centre of arts and culture for everyone.

"I and the board would like to thank Jude for her hard work, dedication and energy and wish her every success in the future.

"We are delighted that with the ongoing presentation of WOW at Southbank Centre, we retain a close link with Jude and her work in developing this important festival."

Kelly – who lives locally – recently served on Lambeth Council's equality commission.

She was one of 14 local women to be included in a set of mosaics unveiled at Morley College in 2012.

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