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Graham Sheffield CBE

Associate Director

Graham Sheffield CBE, was until recently global Director Arts for the British Council and was previously Artistic Director of the Barbican Centre in London. He specialises in cultural policy, strategy and programmes.

Graham led the ‘British Council’s’ worldwide ‘arts strategy’ and programme across its 116 country operation for seven years through a period of major expansion including the launch of a fund to support Cultural Heritage around the world and major seasons of arts work such as Transform in Brazil to link the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games host countries. In 2016, Graham launched the British’s Council’s refreshed Arts strategy ‘Art Connects Us’.

Graham founded the South Bank Centre’s Meltdown Festival and at the Barbican co-created the now long-running international theatre programme (originally Barbican International Theatre Event – BITE), introduced to replace the departing resident Royal Shakespeare Company. Graham spent three years consulting to the new Luminato Festival in Toronto and, in 2010, a brief period in Hong Kong as CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.  He began his career as a Producer on BBC Radio 3.

Graham is also a regular writer, lecturer and broadcaster on arts-related issues.