Jonathan Kennedy

Jonathan Kennedy


Jonathan is an experienced international Director in culture and the creative industries, with a demonstrating history of working in government, non-profit and commercial creative sectors.

Jonathan was Director Arts India, British Council from February 2019 to October 2023. In India Jonathan led influential creative economy and culture industries policy research with FICCI, West Bengal Ministry of Tourism and partners Art X Company, Smart Cube, Queen Mary’s University; and UKRI/AHRC; and for India’s G20 Presidency working with the Ministry of Culture and in the UK the FCDO, Cabinet Office, DCMS, and DBT.

He has expertise in organisational and operational management, culture policy, arts strategy development and public diplomacy. Skilled in Live and Digital strategy, not for profit charities governance, international programme leadership and management, public speaking, mentoring, business development and international relations. Jonathan is a strong professional with a track record in driving business and team performance working at pace in challenging political, social, and cultural contexts.

As Director Arts India, Jonathan was responsible for leading the culture diplomacy programme internationalising arts and creative industries, influencing public policy at government level, leading major stakeholder relationships across government and the creative industries with leading museums and galleries, festivals, theatres and dance companies, publishers, crafts organisations and HEIs. He conceptualised major programmes to promote and strengthen UK and India cultural relations through collaboration, connections, and creative partnerships including the India/UK Together season of culture in 2022-23 marking India’s 75th anniversary of independence which employed 1945 artists in 21 cities with 51 partners and reaching 14.3 million audiences.

Jonathan’s influential thought leadership articles have been published in Vogue India, Rolling Stone magazine, Arts Professional, Times of India, The Hindustan Times, Business Week, Mint Lounge, the Sunday Guardian, The Indian Express and Festivals from India among others.

Prior to India he was a theatre producer and arts leader. For 12 years he was Executive Director of Tara Arts, contributing especially to the major 2.8 million GBP capital re-development of Tara Theatre and the launch of the Black Theatre Live national touring consortium. He worked for the London Borough of Croydon leading the arts service programme and at Wimbledon Theatre heading the studio and programme development. He’s been a regular guest lecturer at King’s College, Goldsmiths University of London, Southbank University, Birkbeck, UAL, St Mary’s University of Minnesota, and various universities in India.

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