Press room

Louise Jeffreys to step down as Artistic Director of the Barbican

The Barbican has announced today that Louise Jeffreys will step down as its Artistic Director at the end of 2019. Louise joined the Barbican as Head of Theatre and Arts Projects in 1999, establishing and building its acclaimed theatre & dance programme. Becoming Artistic Director in 2010, her creative vision and leadership has led the Barbican through an incredibly successful period, reaching record numbers of audiences through its innovative international programme across dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts.

Under Louise’s artistic leadership, the Barbican has brought many of today and tomorrow’s most influential artists to the Centre’s stages, galleries and public foyers, as well as spaces in and around east London. Her belief in bringing artists and people together, artistic collaboration and building lasting creative partnerships has created a unique offer which welcomes audiences of over 1 million ticket-buyers every year along with tens of thousands of visitors to hundreds of free events, and over 70,000 Young Barbican Members aged 14-25.

Recent cross-arts seasons The Art of Change and Life Rewired demonstrate Louise’s focus on exploring the role of the arts within society, politics and our changing world while also pushing the boundaries of artistic practice, supporting and showcasing emerging talent, and commissioning new work.

Louise Jeffreys, Artistic Director of the Barbican said: “My creative home for 21 years, the Barbican has given me many opportunities to grow and develop. However, nothing would have been possible without collaborating with amazing artists, organisations and communities - and the wonderful team of talented and committed people with whom it’s been a huge privilege to work. I will miss and cherish it enormously."

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director of the Barbican said: “We will be very sad to see Louise leave the Barbican; she has been such a force for good in the organisation over more than two decades and has led its artistic work to a peak of success which has gained the widest acclaim. She has passionately and tirelessly championed best practice in the arts and has developed the Barbican to a new awareness of its civic role. We will miss her greatly as she moves on.”

Giles Shilson, Chair of the Barbican Board said: “Louise has been a passionate advocate for both the Barbican and the arts in general, and will be greatly missed. I'm delighted that we will still have the pleasure of her company for the next few months and on behalf of the Barbican Centre Board, wish her the very best for all her future endeavours.”