Andrew Kelly served as Director of Bristol Ideas 1993-2022. During that period, he has been involved in leading and working on many projects in Bristol. These include the cultural renewal of Bristol Harbourside and the founding of We the Curious science centre; Bristol Legible City; Brunel200; Bristol2008- the city’s bid to be European Capital of Culture; the annual Bristol Great Reading Adventure; and – in 2014 – Bristol’s programme marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, the largest UK programme of its kind outside London.
He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and has published 15 books on subjects ranging from film and cinema history to Brunel and engineering, the future of cities and 100 years of Bristol aerospace. On stepping down as director in April 2022, Andrew spends three days each work working on Bristol Ideas projects as well as book writing. His projects include special programmes in Festival of Ideas (which he founded in 2005 and has directed since); work on the James Baldwin centenary in 2024; the biennial Festival of the Future City; and leading a new international ideas festival, the first being with organisations in Lagos and Toronto in October 2022.