Photo by Dion Barrett
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The Barbican Story
Opened in 1982, the Barbican is a unique and audacious building, recognised globally as an architectural icon. The Centre was part of a visionary plan to radically transform how we experience the urban landscape. As well as our theatres, galleries, concert halls and cinemas, we are home to a large conservatory with over 1,500 species of plants and trees, a library, conference facilities, public and community spaces, restaurants, bars, and a picturesque lakeside oasis.
Our Creative Vision
Our eclectic programme features the most exciting and varied artists and companies from London, the UK, and the world, working across music, theatre, dance, the visual arts, cinema, and beyond. Through our creative vision, we aim to create better access to the arts, increase representation and ensure the Barbican uses its unique position and platform to unleash the power of creativity in everyone.
We have plans to combine our exceptional arts programme with a sector-leading education programme for young people; provide the resources needed to support creative enterprises to flourish from within our building; and take artists on a journey from studio space to main stage, creating a talent pipeline that will help produce the next generation of UK artists.
Barbican Renewal Programme
Barbican Renewal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to radically reimagine what an arts centre can be. Our goal is to care for the things people love about the Barbican, while delivering improved public and creative spaces and facilities. We’re working with an award-winning design team to deliver a sustainable development that will bring underused spaces into new creative use, all without adding a single square metre of extra building.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
We’re on a journey to becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation, spurred on in part by the publication of Barbican Stories in 2021. We’re clear that we want to be a place where everyone belongs, a place of fairness and equity; and to be an organisation that reflects the diversity of our community.
We believe that the arts have the power to inspire us to collectively imagine a better future and to unite us in tackling the climate crisis. We reguarly provide a platform for artistic work that responds to the ongoing climate crisis, to highlight its importance and encourage us to shape a positive future. We take our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment seriously and have established clear targets to achieve this.
Annual Report 2022-2023
Watch our Annual Report for 2022/23, featuring five staff members who reflect on a successful year and explain in their words what the Barbican means to them.