Since October 2008, Diane Lees has served as Director-General of the Imperial War Museums. She has worked on some of the most challenging and exciting projects in the country, including recovery and display of the Mary Rose flagship in Portsmouth Harbour and the redisplay of the Nelson Galleries at the Royal Naval Museum. She project-managed the creation of the UK standard for the recording of information about museum collections (SPECTRUM) and was responsible for the creation of the only museum of law in the country, the multi-award-winning Galleries of Justice in Nottingham. She is a Trustee of the IWM Development Trust and The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust. Lees was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in January 2015 and a DBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in January 2022 for services to museums.
Harold Offeh is an artist working across performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. He is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. Offeh has exhibited widely, including at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Wellcome Collection, Kettle’s Yard, Wysing Art Centre, Studio Museum Harlem, MAC VAL, France, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark and Art Tower Mito, Japan. Recent commissions include a new video work exploring the redemptive power of joy through social dance for On Happiness at the Wellcome Collection, and a children’s play area for Bluecoat Contemporary Art Centre, Liverpool. Offeh lives and works in Cambridge and London. He is a Tutor in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art, London. In 2019, he was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, the largest award of its kind in the UK.
Huw Stephens is a presenter, DJ and host. He joined BBC Radio 1 at 17, becoming the youngest ever Radio DJ on the network. He has broadcast live from Glastonbury, Reading Festival, Sonar, South by South West, Eurosonic on BBC Radio 1, as well as live from Radio 1’s own Teen Awards and Big Weekend. His passion for new music has meant he has been the first to champion countless new artists early on. He has contributed to BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC 6Music and presented on BBC Radio Wales, and presents regularly on the BBC World Service. Huw is the founder of the Swn Festival in Cardiff, Wales’ premier new music festival. He curates the Lake Stage at Latitude Festival, comperes the main stage at Reading Festival, and has dj’d and curated at Green Man Festival, Festival No. 6, Bestival, T in the Park and Glastonbury. Huw presents a weekly show on BBC Radio Cymru playing new artists from Wales and the world. He champions new music and dj’s at the Eisteddfod, the National Festival of Wales. He founded two record labels; Boobytrap and Am Records, and has released two compilations on Wichita Recordings named Music Sounds Better With Huw.
Dr Janina Ramirez is a presenter, lecturer and researcher. She specialises in interpreting symbols, and examining art works within their historical context. Following a degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, Nina went to the prestigious Centre for Medieval Studies in York. Here she completed an MA and PhD on birds in Anglo-Saxon art and literature. She has published widely on medieval art and literature, and has taught and researched across a broad chronological sweep, covering everything from the sculptures of antiquity to post-modern architecture. Her experience also stretches beyond the world of art, having lectured in archaeology, history, literature and language. She has worked on a number of documentaries for BBC Four. These have included ‘Saints & Sinners: Britain’s Millennium of Monasteries’, ‘Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings’ and ‘Chivalry & Betrayal: The Hundred Years War’. She is a passionate and enthused academic driven by a desire to share ideas.
Formerly Director of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War Centenary, Jenny joined Art Fund as Director in May 2020. At 14-18 NOW she oversaw a programme of commissions of over 100 new works from leading UK and international contemporary artists including Jeremy Deller, Peter Jackson, John Akomfrah, William Kentridge, Susan Philipsz, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Rachel Whiteread. Prior to this she was Creative Producer of the London 2012 Festival and Public Programmes Consultant to Somerset House Trust. Jenny is Chair of Trustees of Artangel and a member of the Barbican Centre Board. She was awarded a CBE in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the arts.
Image credit: Pari Naderi