Outdoor Arts UK Announce New Director

Sho Shibata

OutdoorArtsUK (OAUK) is pleased to announce Sho Shibata as its new Director, starting in February 2024.

Sho will be leaving his current role as Executive Producer at Stopgap Dance Company, an organisation that creates international touring works with exceptional disabled and non-disabled creatives. Sho joined Stopgap in 2008 and has since built its profile in the outdoor arts sector. Sho is also a trustee of ISTD, Play to the Crowd (umbrella organisation for Winchester Theatre Royal, Hat Fair and Playmakers) and a member of the South East Area Council for Arts Council England.

Sho Shibata, says of the appointment, ‘I am really looking forward to pouring my focus and energy into supporting the sector through OAUK. Outdoor Arts has the power to bring diverse communities together and inspire them with joy and wonder. I think the sector is growing in importance right now, when communities are expecting to face multiple challenges for some time yet. I am determined to help the sector carry on delivering fantastic work and play their part in lifting the spirits of communities everywhere.’

OAUK’s Co-Chairs, Camille Ben Soussan and Lorna Rees, said, ‘We’re excited to see OAUK’s continued development with Sho’s extensive experience in working for a leading company that has made memorable outdoor work in the past 15 years. We know Sho will both lead and represent our members with knowledge and understanding, and with a comprehensive view of the wider arts and cultural sector both nationally and internationally.’

OAUK brings together many diverse parts of the Outdoor Arts sector, facilitating creative and beneficial connection between its members. As a membership organisation, OAUK celebrates and promotes the amazing work, talent and achievements of the individuals, companies and organisations working in this most accessible of presentation forms. OAUK is an Arts Council England Investment Principles Support Organisation currently core funded 2023 – 2026.