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30th August 2019 Jemma Green

Stella Kanu
London International Festival of Theatre

Stella Kanu is Executive Director at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre). Previously, as Executive Producer at Ovalhouse, she spent 4 years overseeing a comprehensive artistic, organisational and community-led transition as Ovalhouse constructed London’s newest purpose built £15m theatre in Brixton.

She has worked in the theatre, festival and cultural sector for over 27 years shaping ideas, communities, events, people and organisations for great shifts. Working in the UK, US and Australia including Soundwave Cumbria where she was CEO, Cardboard Citizens, Harlem Stage, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Clean Break Theatre, as well as arts and regeneration directorates at numerous local and city councils.

Stella created The Pivotal Place to coach and mentor emerging, mid-career and established leaders across multiple sectors, and is a long-term leadership mentor on Engage’s UK wide Leadership Programme, Extend. Stella is a former Powerbrokers International Leadership Fellow (Cultural Leadership Programme, 2008), she is a sought-after speaker, strategic brain and trainer on topics including Diversity in Theatre, Inspired leadership, Artivism and Women & Power. 

She has served on boards including Creative Margate (including interim Chair) and New Writing South, Stella is currently Chair at Eclipse Theatre. 

Stella will be giving the keynote Smashing Systems — decolonising our work spaces at Inclusivity and Audiences Day 2019.

Image courtesy of Stella Kanu (c) Sharon Wallace.