June 30, 2023

Lilli Geissendorfer to step down as Director of Jerwood Arts

Today we are sharing the news that after five years leading Jerwood Arts, Lilli Geissendorfer is stepping down as Director.

A statement from our Chairman Rupert Tyler:

“With both sadness and gratitude we must announce that Lilli Geissendorfer will be stepping down as Director of Jerwood Arts.

Lilli took up post in January 2018, since when she has built new strategic partnerships with funders and arts organisations across the UK, and supported hundreds of extraordinary artists, makers, producers and curators through the pandemic and beyond to develop and thrive.

Lilli leaves Jerwood Arts in a strong position for continued success, and we sincerely thank her for her contribution and leadership. The Board wishes her the best of luck as she takes on the role of Deputy Director at the Creative Policy and Evidence Centre this September.

We are confident that Lilli and the team will make this a smooth transition for all our artists and partners and we will set out our plans for Jerwood Arts in due course.”


Lilli joined Jerwood Arts in 2018 with a vision for a more open, accessible, and national funder. Since then, she has worked with the team to reimagine our approach to funding for organisations and individuals, responded to the urgent needs of artists during the pandemic, and significantly increased our partnerships and national reach.

During her time, Jerwood Arts, with other funders, has channelled £10 million of funding to over 1000 early-career artists, makers, curators and producers.

In the visual arts, she oversaw the realisation of 19 exhibitions of new work at Jerwood Space and on tour nationally, including Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open, Jerwood/FVU Awards, Jerwood Solo Presentations and Jerwood Collaborate!, featuring Array Collective, Turner Prize-winners 2021. She also launched the major biennial commissioning and exhibition opportunity Jerwood Survey, now in its third edition.

She created almost 100 year-long jobs through two editions of Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries, launching two influential Toolkits on improving socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts. Taking an innovative approach to funding processes, she piloted random selection with the 1:1FUND in 2021, and brought together diverse funders to create significant awards for individuals through the Live Work Fund in 2020.

Lilli Geissendorfer says,

“I have not done this job alone. It has been the greatest privilege to work with and for the most brilliant team, freelancers and incredible people from organisations across the arts and funding sectors to collaborate and cook up new ideas to respond to artists’ needs through challenging times. I have learnt so much. My heartfelt thanks to all the artists we’ve been so proud to empower, and my colleagues, peers and board for trusting me with this responsibility.”

Lilli will be stepping down at the end of July and starting at the Creative Policy and Evidence Centre as Deputy Director in September. The board will set out future plans for Jerwood Arts in due course.

If you have any questions please contact your usual Jerwood Arts team member, or email [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Lilli Geissendorfer. Photo by Hydar Dewachi.