Jude Kelly wins Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award

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Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 09:40

Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, Jude Kelly CBE, has won the first-ever Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award, honouring businesswomen and other female leaders whose organisations are championing social purpose.

She joined fellow winners Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread and winner of the 44th Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, and Alice Bentinck, Founder of Entrepreneur First, and winner of the entrepreneurial Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award.

The judging panel outlined how Jude’s work here embodies the values of the first Social Purpose Award. They observed that she champions a social purpose beyond her core business case, while maintaining strong leadership and business acumen.

Jude Kelly CBE, Southbank Centre Artistic Director holds her Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award at the 2017 ceremony

The judges commented that they were ‘inspired’ by our vision that art should be available to all, our work bringing artists and audiences from across the world together to celebrate different cultures, and our efforts to inspire learning through our festival model.

The panel gave a special mention to our Women of the World festival (WOW), which has created a platform for debate and discussion that celebrates women and young girls around the world and identifies the barriers to them achieving their potential. 

Founded by Jude in 2010, WOW has seen global growth with international WOW festivals now in twenty cities across five continents.

Collaborating with communities across the UK and internationally, we now provide learning and participation experiences for over 57,000 children and young people every year. Half of our artistic programme is available for free, to reduce the barriers to people being able to access arts and culture. Jude has also taken our festivals, exhibitions and productions worldwide, reaching locations as diverse as Somaliland and Karachi.

On accepting her award, Jude paid tribute to all the people who had created Southbank Centre for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and those who continue to be part of its progress.

She said: ’Southbank Centre was founded on the principle that great arts and culture are for everyone, not a privileged few, and living and working by this maxim has been at the heart of my role at the organisation over the past decade. I passionately believe that art can change lives and it is such an honour to be recognised for this today, alongside such an extraordinary group of finalists. 

‘As a leader in the arts - an industry still largely dominated at the top by men - I know how significant it is to have female role models for the next generation of leaders, and to learn from the diversity of stories and passions of people from all backgrounds. 

‘I founded WOW to ensure girls and women from every walk of life have a shared place to celebrate progress and confront barriers. There is still much to do to challenge the status quo, but through recognition of women’s achievements, in the spirit of Madame Clicquot, we can continue to build this movement for change.’

Southbank Centre was founded on the principle that great arts and culture are for everyone, not a privileged few, and living and working by this maxim has been at the heart of my role at the organisation over the past decade.
Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre