Barbican's Director of Arts and Learning
To book Will Gompertz please contact your JLA Agent.
Will was the BBC’s first ever Arts Editor, entitling him to express his opinions on things like the Turner Prize. He is now the Director of Arts and Learning at the Barbican. The role brings together the arts and creative learning departments, and he will lead the creation and delivery of the next phase of the Barbican’s artistic vision.
Will Gompertz is the Director of Arts and Learning at The Barbican. Previously, he was the BBC’s first ever dedicated Arts Editor covering all aspects of the arts from funding and policy to criticism in the theatre, music, film, visual arts, and literature.
Prior to his BBC appointment Will served for almost a decade as director of Tate Media where he was responsible for the institution’s award-winning online presence and for Tate Etc. the UK's highest-circulation art magazine. Before working for Tate Will had a varied career that took in working at a holiday camp, as a stage-hand at Sadler's Wells and as a runner for a TV company. He also founded the DVD-magazine Shots covering international short films and commercial promo films. Will set up a dedicated arts TV production company making programmes for Channel 4 and ITV and a film with Aardman Animation.
An experienced host and interviewer, Will can not only talk about the all aspects of the art world and creativity, but also has a wealth of tales from his time in broadcasting, whether it’s mispronouncing the subject’s name in an obituary, or interviewing superstars from Mick Jagger to Damian Hurst and Meryl Streep.
Will is the author of a layman’s guide to 150 years of modern art, What Are You Looking At?, See What You're Missing: 31 Ways Artists Notice the World: and How You Can Too, and Think Like an Artist, a manual to help anyone think creatively, be productive and be fulfilled by work. He has also written on the arts for The Times and the Guardian and even wrote and performed a show at the Edinburgh Fringe called Double Art History.
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Will challenges any perceptions of the artistic world as a breeding ground for tormented, penniless outcasts. Instead he describes the most celebrated exponents as entrepreneurs with a sharp understanding of the zeitgeist. Along with some genuinely hilarious stories, Will’s message to business is crystal clear: to survive and thrive, we must all begin to think like artists. JLA Agent Tom Disley
JLA Speakers Breakfast