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Without Walls Announces Ralph Kennedy as Director of the Leading Organisation For Outdoor Arts Following its NPO Funding Decision

Kennedy will take up his post in April 2023. 

Without Walls Announces Ralph Kennedy as Director of the Leading Organisation For Outdoor Arts Following its NPO Funding Decision

Without Walls has announced the appointment of Ralph Kennedy as its new full-time Director following a comprehensive recruitment process. This follows confirmation of the consortium's National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England for 2023 -2026. Kennedy will take up his post in April 2023.

The organisation continues to lead in excellence in outdoor arts to ensure the production of new work, as well as nurturing talent and skills for the sector. Kennedy has been working as Associate Director at XTRAX, which has managed the organisation until this point. He has extensive previous experience at a wide range of cultural and social organisations, including Making Music and Clore Social Leadership.

Jo Burns, Chair of Without Walls, comments, With Arts Council England support confirmed for the next three years, now is the time for a new Director to lead Without Walls into the next stage of its evolution. The Board are delighted to appoint Ralph Kennedy to this role. He comes with valuable leadership experience in both cultural and social sector organisations and we are delighted he is to be the Director Without Walls at this important time

Ralph Kennedy comments, "Outdoor arts is uniquely placed to provide cultural experiences to people and communities of all backgrounds, without the barriers which often exclude people from traditional arts institutions and organisations. It has a vital role to play as the country works its way back from the Covid-19 pandemic and reconfigures how and why we connect with each other and the places where we live. I am deeply honoured to become the first organisational Director of Without Walls, which, over the last 10 years, has been instrumental in developing the resilience and excellence of outdoor arts in England."

Without Walls was established in 2007 with a partnership of just five festivals, and has now grown to a network of 35+ organisations and festivals across the UK. The core objectives of the organisation are to commission and tour ambitious new shows to Without Walls Festivals and beyond, and to offer talent development, training and advice.

Without Walls annually invests commissioning funds into a programme of new outdoor shows that go on to tour across the UK and internationally. These works range from the intimate to the epic, aiming to create high-quality arts experiences that are accessible to all, regardless of personal, social or economic circumstances. It consists of the Artistic Directorate (AD) which delivers the artistic policy of the company by supporting and presenting new work; the Touring Network Partnership (TNP), comprising organisations that are committed to funding touring Without Walls shows that go to neighbourhoods, towns and cities across England with low arts engagement; and the Creative Development Network (CDN) , which is composed of organisations and freelance professionals developing an outdoor arts programme, who receive mentorship, training and support.

Without Walls will announce a programme of new commissions for 2023, along with festival dates where the work will be presented, in February. Later in 2023, the organisation will announce artists and companies selected for the Blueprint R&D programme, which supports the development of new innovative outdoor touring work.

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