Jude Kelly OBE

Jude Kelly OBE

Founder, WOW - Women of the World FestivalsUnited Kingdom
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Jude Kelly OBE

Jude Kelly OBE

Founder, WOW - Women of the World FestivalsUnited Kingdom
About me
In theatre, Jude Kelly has directed over a hundred productions in the UK and internationally, and her work in both theatre and opera has been recognised in a number of ways, including two Laurence Olivier awards. She has been founder Artistic Director of a series of institutions, including Solent Peoples Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and her own charity Metal – a laboratory for artistic practise in community settings. She led the cultural bid for the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic celebrations, 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. She’s the recipient of 17 honorary doctorates for her work in the field of cultural access and received an OBE and a CBE for services to the Arts. She is currently the Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, one of the largest cultural centres in Europe. In 2010 Kelly founded the WOW –- Women of the World festivals, which have now become a global movement. To date, there have been over 42 WOWs in 23 countries across five continents. WOW celebrates the history and potential of girls and women in all fields of life and highlights the obstacles that prevent gender equality from being achieved. In 2014, she also founded BAM – Being a Man to support men and boys explore issues arising from narrow definitions of masculine identity. Kelly is currently establishing a new charity, Drivers for Change, to support young creative entrepreneurs from a wide range of social backgrounds to be given skills and networks to affect change in marginalised communities.
Projects
  • WOW
    WOWJude Kelly launched WOW London in 2011 to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day, as a major global festival that celebrates women and girls and looks at the obstacles they face, where hundreds of women’s stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded. In response to an overwhelming demand Southbank Centre have been fostering a growing global network of festivals. Already in four other countries WOW is scheduled to spread to four more next year,
  • METAL
    METALMetal was founded in London in 2002  by Jude Kelly OBE. We have been active in Liverpool since 2004, in Southend-on-Sea since 2007 and in Peterborough since 2012.
  • Imagine Children’s Festival
    Imagine Children’s FestivalEach February, in the run-up to and throughout half term, we bring you our Imagine Children’s Festival – created for and by young people. Imagine inspires authors, theatre companies and artists to ensure that children and young people are regarded as the most important audiences and cultural thinkers. We believe that by giving young people the chance to shape the culture they grow up with and to share their ideas with their friends, schools and families, their creativity will be given a platform that can influence all of us. We also believe in having a lot of fun while we do this – please do make the most of this wonderful festival by coming along with the whole family and joining in.
  • Women of the World 2017
    Women of the World 2017The 2017 edition of this festival will feature another stellar line-up championing everything that is great about women and girls. Through discussion, debate, performances and activism, female achievements are celebrated and the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their full potential and contributing to the world are explored.
  • BAM - BEING A MAN
    BAM - BEING A MANJude Kelly launched Being A Man Festival in 2014, a major new festival exploring what being a man means in the 21st century, looking at the changing nature of masculinity and the lots of different ways that men are shaping what the future might look like for us all. Being A Man is made up of talks, debates, keynotes, performances, workshops, installations, a marketplace and music, with extraordinary contributors and leaders in their field exploring all facets of masculinity and male identity. T
  • Jude Kelly on women in the arts: The Power List
    Jude Kelly on women in the arts: The Power ListJude began her career as a theatre director and had to struggle against prejudice, sexism, and a lack of female role models on her way up. She discusses the most powerful women in the arts on BBC 4. Link to interview
Projects credited in
  • WOW Global 24
    WOW Global 24The effects of Covid-19 pose a profound risk of reversing progress made towards achieving equality, one that must be tackled together and fast. Black Lives Matter increased WOW’s sense of urgency. Running across all time zones over 24 hours, WOW Global 24 brought together WOW Festivals from around the world to respond to the world’s current events, including racial injustice, and the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on women and girls, particularly those already marginalised. Acr
  • WOW - Women of the World Festival London 2020
    WOW - Women of the World Festival London 2020In 2020 we marked the tenth anniversary of WOW – Women of the World festival, and to celebrate the WOW Foundation presented the biggest and bravest festival. Over three days, WOW’s line-up of world-class speakers, activists and performers were joined by thousands to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and tackle the subjects that matter most to women and girls across the world today.
  • Create your future conference. Tickets available here (£25 off discount code).
    Create your future conference. Tickets available here (£25 off discount code).It's time for a creative revolution. This is our time. This is our conference. Together, we can redefine the future of innovation, creativity, technology and work. Rise up, creative leaders of the future, take the reigns and trail-blaze. Only 14% of creative directors, 11.5% of design directors and 11.5% of film directors are women. This is your invite to a stellar event with the industry’s top thought-leaders, coaches, mentors, clients and innovators. Toast the end of the day with Prosecco, be
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Work history
    WOW - Women of the World logo
    WOW - Women of the World logo
    FounderWOW - Women of the World
    London, United KingdomFull Time
    Global movement of festivals celebrating women and girls, and looking at obstacles they face.
    Southbank Centre logo
    Southbank Centre logo
    Artistic DirectorSouthbank Centre
    London, United KingdomFull Time
Skills
  • Producing