We are thrilled to announce that Tarek Iskander will become our new Artistic Director and CEO in May 2019.
Tarek Iskander said:
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Battersea Arts Centre’s fantastic team. David Jubb’s legacy is immense, and we want to use that springboard to continuously reinvent how we embolden our communities and our artists. Battersea Arts Centre will always be a home for the pioneering and the under-represented, the visionary and the mischievous. It’s that uncompromising, radical and rebellious spirit… That’s what has always made Battersea Arts Centre precious to me and to others. I’m so excited to work with everyone to devise what remarkable things Battersea Arts Centre does next.”
Tarek Iskander is currently Interim Director for Theatre at Arts Council England. He has also been an Artistic Director as part of Up Next – a takeover initiative by Artistic Directors of the Future, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre, designed to catapult visionary artists into leadership roles in the UK’s theatre industry and broaden representation. Previously, Tarek was one of the founders and Associate Artistic Director of the Yard Theatre in Hackney and also Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. Credits as Director include Qudz and Shiver (both at the Yard Theatre and also written by Tarek Iskander), Minotaur (Unicorn Theatre) and A Winter’s Tale (Batumi Drama Theatre/ British Council Georgia). Prior to embarking on a career in theatre, Tarek worked for many years in senior and executive roles with the National Health Service.
Tarek will succeed David Jubb, who will lead the organisation until April 2019, as previously announced.
The recruitment process was overseen by David Bryan, Battersea Arts Centre’s new Chair of the board of trustees. David Bryan takes over from Michael Day, who steps down after supporting and championing the organisation for six critical years.
Battersea Arts Centre opened in 1974 and is based in Battersea’s former Town Hall building, which has been extensively refurbished in recent years. It is a public space which hosts hundreds of creative events each year. It has a programme of live performance with national and international touring partnerships. Its digital work includes performances for BBC television. It uses creativity to drive social change and has created a new museum which moves around the building, the borough and beyond. Its purpose is to inspire people to take creative risks to shape the future and it achieves this by using the Scratch process to help test new ideas.
David Bryan, Chair of the board of trustees, said:
“We are thrilled to appoint Tarek Iskander as the next Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre. Tarek emerged as the leading candidate after an open and rigorous recruitment process, involving external panellists and members of the community. I look forward to supporting his inspiring vision for the future of Battersea Arts Centre in my new role as chair of the board of trustees.”
Rebecca Holt, Executive Director and Deputy CEO, said:
“On behalf of all the team at Battersea Arts Centre, I am delighted to be welcoming Tarek as our new Artistic Director & CEO from May 2019. Tarek’s wide-ranging skills, collaborative approach and original ideas mean that Battersea Arts Centre will continue to go from strength to strength under his leadership, ensuring that our core purpose – to inspire people to take creative risks to shape the future – remains at the heart of all that we do.”
David Jubb, Artistic Director and CEO, said
“Tarek is a fantastic appointment for Battersea Arts Centre. He brings vision, warmth and a breadth of experience. He will lead positive change and take the organisation to a whole new level. Battersea Arts Centre owes a huge debt of gratitude to Michael Day, who has played a terrific role as Chair over the last six years. We are lucky to now have David Bryan as an outstanding new Chair; I very much look forward to working with him through until April.”
ABOUT TAREK ISKANDER
Tarek Iskander is currently Interim Director for Theatre at Arts Council England. He has also been an Artistic Director as part of the Up Next leadership programme – a takeover initiative collaboratively conceived by Artistic Directors of the Future, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre. Previously, Tarek was one of the founders and Associate Artistic Director of the Yard Theatre in Hackney and also Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. Credits as Director include Qudz and Shiver (both at the Yard Theatre and also written by Tarek Iskander), Minotaur (Unicorn Theatre), A Winter’s Tale (Batumi Drama Theatre/ British Council Georgia) and work at Shoreditch Town Hall, Theatre 503 and Hackney Empire. Associate Director credits include The Ice Break (Birmingham Opera Company, dir. Graham Vick) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Bolton Octagon, dir. David Thacker). He has participated in director’s exchange programmes in Warsaw and Munich. Prior to embarking on a career in theatre, Tarek worked for many years in senior and executive roles with the National Health Service.
ABOUT DAVID BRYAN
David Bryan is Director of Xtend UK Ltd, a management consultancy working in organisational change, leadership and diversity. His arts management experience began with establishing a specialist bookshop in 1976, which culminated in the first Black Bookfair in the UK. As the director of Brixton Village arts centre he created a platform for Black Comedy and diverse theatre. He has produced Black Theatre festivals, exhibitions, film festivals and dance events. He has been a consultant to emerging and established arts institutions and provided diversity training on behalf of Arts Council England.
He was a National Council Member of Arts Council England and has been a board member of several arts organisations from: The Gate Theatre, Tara Arts, Black Mime Theatre, Onyxarts Foundation, Artistic Directors of the Future and Tomorrow’s Warriors. He has lectured at Goldsmith College, Birkbeck College, City Lit Institute and South Bank University. He is currently Chair of Voluntary Arts, Chair of Oval House Theatre and a governor of Dunraven School (London).
ABOUT BATTERSEA ARTS CENTRE
Battersea Arts Centre is a public space where people come together to be creative, see a show, explore the local heritage, play or relax. The organisation’s mission is to inspire people, to take creative risks, to shape the future.
Battersea Arts Centre encourages people to test and develop new ideas with members of the public – a process called Scratch. Scratch is used by artists to make theatre, by young people to develop entrepreneurial ideas and as a helpful process for anyone who wants to get creative.
The area of South West London and the old town hall in which Battersea Arts Centre is based, are rich in heritage. Since April 2016, the organisation has been custodian of the Wandsworth Collection, using creativity to explore the past and imagine the future.
Scratch has been adopted as far afield as Sydney and New York and shows and projects developed by people at Battersea Arts Centre travel across the UK and the world. The organisation has successfully sparked new approaches to creativity across the globe.