GDIF’s Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings has been awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for services to Culture and Disability Arts, particularly in London.
Bradley has led Greenwich+Docklands International Festival since it first took place in 1996. Under Bradley’s direction GDIF has broken new ground in outdoor arts, commissioning, producing and presenting work by a wide range of UK and international artists. Described in The Guardian as “an event whose annual contribution to the happiness of the people of London is unrivalled” GDIF is now widely recognised as one of the leading outdoor arts festivals in the country, attracting over 100,000 people each year. Bradley has also played a key role in developing new outdoor work with Deaf and disabled artists and in addition to the annual Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, has produced the Mayor of London’s Liberty festival since its inception in 2003, which has included the last three years, in which this major disability arts festival has joined forces with National Paralympic Day.
In 2012 Bradley was Co-Artistic Director for the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 Paralympic Games, watched by 11.5 million viewers in the UK (Channel 4’s largest ever audience) and widely credited with helping to challenge and change perception of disability. He has gone on to direct the inaugural Paralympic Heritage Flame Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and the Opening Ceremony to the Great North Run’s One Millionth Finish in NewcastleGateshead. He is a founder member of the Without Walls consortium of outdoor arts festivals and is a member of the London Area Council of the Arts Council.
Bradley said “I’m so delighted by this wonderful recognition. It’s also a fantastic boost for the Festival as we go into our 21st birthday year and I’m enormously grateful to all the artists, audiences, staff, funders and my incredible Board, who have helped, in the words of Lyn Gardner, make GDIF the “annual miracle” that it has become.”