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    12th January 2017

    LIFT CEO and Artistic Director Mark Ball will become the Associate Artistic Director at Manchester International Festival, focusing on the creation and delivery of the artistic programme for Factory, Manchester’s flagship new space for large-scale performance and art works.

    Since he joined in 2009, curating the subsequent 4 biennial festivals, Mark has re-established LIFT as one of the world’s leading international arts festivals, bringing critically acclaimed and highly innovative artists to the capital to share the stories of the world with Londoners. He has placed collaboration and partnership at the heart of his artistic programme and delivered projects that have fostered links between internationally significant artists from around the world and London’s inherently international communities.

    Bernard Donoghue, Chair, Board of Directors, LIFT said:

    “Mark Ball has been a dynamic, creative and inspiring CEO and Artistic Director of LIFT and whilst we are delighted for him and his new, exciting role at Factory, we are sorry to see him go. There has never been a more important time to celebrate London’s internationalism – the world’s place in London and our place in the world – and Mark has been a champion of using theatre to make us think, and feel and act. All of us in the LIFT family thank him for all he has achieved and wish him the very best in his new role. He leaves LIFT as a major force in UK and international theatre, and we look forward to an exciting future in which we continue to bring outstanding theatre to London and the UK.”

    Mark has presided over 133 shows and events, including 57 new commissions seen by over 200,000 people in over 50 venues and unusual spaces across London, from the West End to gothic East London cemeteries to car park rooftops and ancient oak trees. He said:

    ‘I have had the time of my life at LIFT, working to help some of the world’s most exceptional artists make passionate, joyful, provocative, life affirming theatre happen right here in London – and all with the support of a wonderful team and a generous, supportive and amazing board. LIFT is an organisation I love dearly and its art, its values and its people I cherish. I will miss it enormously, but after 8 years leave confident that it’s in great shape, and I look forward to seeing LIFT evolve under new artistic leadership.’

    Mark Ball’s departure will open up the position of Artistic Director at LIFT. The next LIFT festival will be in June 2018 and LIFT will begin the recruitment of a new Artistic Director in February this year.

    Download the full press release here.