Beki Bateson to step down as LIFT’s Executive Director & Joint CEO
13th September 2018
Image: Beki Bateson at a Tottenham Artist Hangout in 2017, photographer Chris Stokes.
Since joining LIFT in 2009, Beki has played a crucial role in re-establishing LIFT as one of the world’s leading international festivals, enabling a dynamic group of diverse artists to create and present work and ensuring the organisation’s development as a cultural force on the London, UK and global landscape.
Beki recently led the 22nd edition of LIFT’s biennial festival alongside LIFT 2018 Guest Artistic Director, David Binder. The hugely successful and critically-acclaimed festival attracted over 40k audience members and featured 55 days of incredible, life-affirming performances that spanned the width and breadth of the city – from Duke Riley’s Fly By Night in the skies above Thamesmead to a mash-up of dance and music genres as over 150 performers stormed the Tower of London for East Wall. LIFT 2018 also included three Tottenham Original shows, SESSION, Small Wonders and Nightwalks with Teenagers which were all born out of LIFT’s pioneering long-term artistic and outreach residency in the area, spearheaded by Beki.
Beki Bateson said:
‘LIFT has been an extraordinary, life-affirming cultural adventure across a world-class city collaborating with inspiring and renowned international artists and diverse communities to make magical, mind-opening theatrical experiences happen, none more so than LIFT 2018 which exploded across the city with aplomb. LIFT is more vital now than ever – an antidote and an alchemist – and with Kris at the helm I’m excited for its future.’
Kris Nelson, LIFT Artistic Director & Joint CEO said:
‘Beki has made an incredible, indelible contribution to LIFT. She has created a context in London for daring international ideas, spectacular events and resonant collaborations between audiences and artists. Her ambitious and skilled leadership created a new frame for LIFT and helped redefine the festival. I wish her all the very best in her next bold venture. It’s been terrific to work alongside her over the past few months as LIFT stormed the city this June and I look forward to carrying that tremendous momentum forward for our 2020 edition.’
Bernard Donoghue, LIFT Chair of Trustees said:
‘It has a been a great personal pleasure for me to work alongside Beki from her first day to her last. In addition to her inspiring leadership role at LIFT she has also been a respected and influential leader within the cultural community in London, the UK, through our European networks and around the world. We owe her a great debt of gratitude for her work and for the passion and commitment she invested in LIFT and the LIFT family. All of the board and the team wish her every success in her next endeavours.’
Before joining LIFT, Beki was the CEO at Greenbelt Arts Festival for nine years where she oversaw the regeneration of the cross-artform, all-age, greenfield event for 20,000 at Cheltenham Racecourse. Beki has a background in human rights and was Chair at Amos Trust 2007 – 2012, she has also been a Trustee at Take One Action, a Scottish film festival celebrating the people and movies that are changing the world and was co-founder and Chair of Rediscovering Palestine, a network of NGOs and publishers promoting Palestinian culture and campaigns. Beki is currently a Parent Governor at Forest Hill School, she has lived in London for over twenty years and regularly mentors artists and producers.
Beki will leave LIFT in October 2018 to pursue a number of freelance projects. Recruitment for the position will commence in the new year.