New director for Black Cultural Archives

Lisa Anderson

The Black Cultural Archives, based in Brixton’s Windrush Square, is to have a new managing director. Current director Arike Oke will step down at the end of this month.

Her successor will be Lisa Anderson, who will join BCA as interim managing director on 6 December.

Arike Oke will remain a member of BCA’s archives advisory group.

Lisa Anderson is a curator, consultant and arts facilitator who is currently corporate partnerships programme manager at the Lord Mayors Appeal.

She established the educational platform Black British Art and runs an arts consultancy.

Arike Oke has led the BCA, the home of Black British history, since 2019.

She established the 2030 strategy with the board, which has contributed to a growing year-on-year surplus for the charity.

The BCA said highlights of her time in charge include: 

  • Building back BCA’s financial reserves, even during the pandemic period 
  • Premiering Black Futures Month
  • Positioning BCA as a major voice in UK heritage and culture 
  • Making new creative and strategic partnerships 
  • Creating a plan to reimagine BCA’s Windrush Square venue.
Arike Oke, head of BCA
Arike Oke

Arike Oke said: “I am proud of the achievements of the team, our partners, and friends during my time at BCA and I look forward to joining the wider network of BCA supporters to help BCA reach even higher in the future. 

“The BCA is now in a stronger position to fulfil its mission to preserve, document, and celebrate the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent. 

“From working on a new Black history Tube map, to unveiling a new statue of Claudia Jones, BCA is likkle but tallawah!

“The new business plan that the staff team and board have created to underpin the 2030 strategy will see BCA thrive, with a focus on developing audiences, diversifying income and putting the heritage collections front and centre.”

On behalf of the board of trustees. Rukayah Sarumi said: “Arike Oke came to BCA to reinvigorate the charity. She had a strategic vision and put in place a plan that has given BCA a strong foundation on which to build.

“We thank Arike for her significant leadership as we look forward to the fulfilment of BCA’s mission and vision.”

Lisa Anderson said: “A large part of my adult life has been dedicated to celebrating, empowering and advocating for Black arts, Black histories and work of the Black Cultural Archives in a myriad of ways.

“I am excited and honoured to join the BCA team at this pivotal time, as the organisation continues to grow and further establish its position as the home of Black British history.

“I am looking forward to bringing all of my expertise and passion for this work to this leadership position as its interim managing director.”