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Barbican announces six new appointments to Barbican Centre Trust

The Barbican today announces Farmida Bi CBE as Chair of the Barbican Centre Trust, the charitable arm through which the Barbican raises vital funds for its arts and learning programme. Taking up the role on 25 May 2021, Bi succeeds Emma Kane, who has served as Chair for the past nine years, while Robert Glick OBE takes up the newly created role of Vice Chair, alongside four new trustees. The new appointments come at a pivotal time for the international arts centre, which marks its 40th anniversary next year, embarks on a major building renewal, and next month welcomes Will Gompertz as its new Director of Arts and Learning.

Both Bi and Glick bring a wealth of experience to the charity. As the Europe, Middle East and Asia Chair of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, Bi has more than 25 years of experience advising on capital markets and Islamic finance transactions. Committed to championing diversity and social mobility, Bi is the UK’s first female Chair of a major law firm and has been named as one of Britain’s top five most powerful Muslim women. 

Glick is Vice President, Head of International Public Affairs at American Express, and has held various senior positions in corporate communications and public health. His many non-executive roles have included Chair of Save the Children’s Global Malnutrition Initiative and Chair of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican, said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Farmida Bi as Chair and Robert Glick as Vice Chair of the Barbican Centre Trust, alongside our four new Trustees. They join the Barbican at an exciting time as we work to make a unique artistic, creative and civic contribution to our collective renewal as London re-opens. The Barbican Centre Trust under Emma Kane’s exceptional stewardship over the past nine years has played a key role in developing our work, and we are very grateful to her and her Trustee colleagues for all their support.'

Emma Kane said ‘Serving as Chair of the Barbican Centre Trust has been an extraordinary privilege; being part of the team that makes the Barbican’s distinctive programmes come to life is an experience that I will treasure. As we emerge and gradually reopen the Centre, alongside the appointment of Will Gompertz as Director of Arts & Learning, this is a moment for the Barbican to really shine and I am so excited about the huge impact the new trustees will make under Farmida and Robert’s leadership.’

Farmida Bi said: ‘I’m deeply honoured to succeed Emma Kane as Chair of the Barbican Centre Trust. We have never needed the arts as much as we do now, as we emerge from a global pandemic. The virus has reminded us of our common fragilities as well as the disparities that have resulted in such varied outcomes for different communities. As an international arts and learning centre that also has a strong local focus, the Barbican is in a unique position to help rebuild both our cultural and emotional health. I am excited about bringing the Barbican even closer to its neighbours, both the City firms and businesses whose financial support is so vitally needed if the Barbican is to fulfil its vision, and to communities who, in the past, may not always have seen it as accessible for them.’

Robert Glick said: ‘Arts and culture have long been the lifeblood of London, and of the country more broadly, and so it must remain as we see our way out of the current crisis. Few organisations are better placed than the Barbican to seize opportunity from that crisis, by ensuring that the creative arts are front and centre of our collective recovery, and that we continue to provide a truly world-class platform for artists, creative professionals and young people eager to contribute to our journey toward renewal. I couldn’t be more delighted to play a part in that exciting journey.’

In addition to Bi and Glick, the following four new members will be appointed to the Barbican Centre Trust on 25 May: Tom Bloxham MBE, Tracey Harrison, Jeff Holland and David Kapur. They join Tony Chambers, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Kendall Langford, Alasdair Nisbet, John Porter and Tom Sleigh. Stepping down from the Trust on 25 May are Richard Bernstein, Sir Roger Gifford, Emma Kane and John Murray.

Led by Cadence Partners, a wide-ranging recruitment process involving members of the Barbican Centre Board and Directors led to the appointment of the Trustees.

A registered charity established in 1986, the Barbican Centre Trust exists to raise vital funds for the Barbican. To keep its programme accessible to everyone, and to keep investing in the artists it works with, the Barbican needs to raise more than 60% of its income through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising every year. Donations can be made here: