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Our People

Meet our team of dedicated individuals - dedicated to exploring, analysing and creating meaningful change in the arts.

Dr Rob Berkeley MBE




Dr Rob Berkeley MBE, was Director of race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust between January 2009 and February 2014, and Deputy Director between 2005 and 2009. His doctoral studies at the University of Oxford focused on exclusion from school. He was awarded an MBE for services to equality in 2015 New Year Honours List. He is currently a trustee of the Baring Foundation and governor of a South London Pupil Referral Unit as well as being Managing Editor of Black Out UK magazine.  Rob is currently part of the Senior Leadership Programme a partnership between the Clore Leadership programme and BBC.  Rob will be the curatorial lead for this programme and editor.


Jenny Williams


Take the Space is a creative agency set up in 2006 with the aim of enabling artists from minority ethnic backgrounds to Take their Space – and tell their stories.  TTS works across arts, heritage and digital providing producer-led services, where artist’s ideas and creativity form the basis of new projects and new work.  At its core, TTS is committed to telling stories that are generally not seen and not heard – and finding spaces that connect people with each other.  Jenny works with individual artists and organisations to deliver projects that fulfill this vision across policy and practice – including talks, conferences, manifestos for change; through to bid writing, tour booking, programme management and artist events. In 2007-9, Jenny was awarded a prestigious Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme and mentored by acclaimed playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah; is an accredited coach; and has recently been awarded a Fellowship exploring Cultural Fundraising and Philanthropy with Cause4.


David Bryan

Project Advisor

David Bryan FRSA David Bryan is Director of Xtend UK Ltd, a management consultancy working in organisational change, leadership development and diversity. mostly in the not-for-profit and public sector.  He has over 20 years consultancy experience, providing management training, facilitation to senior management teams, one to one coaching and governance support. Prior to becoming a consultant he worked in senior management within the voluntary sector, the arts and in academia.

His arts management experience is across several art forms and decades. It began with establishing a specialist bookshop (1976), this culminated in the first Black Bookfair in the UK.  As the director of an arts centre - Brixton Village - he pioneered the development of Black Comedy and created a platform for diverse theatre. In his role as a producer he has organised Black Theatre festivals, exhibitions, film festivals and Nubian Steps (a Black contemporary dance event). He has been a consultant to established arts institutions and new and emerging organisations in the performing arts, as well as, provided Diversity training on behalf of the Arts Council - internally and externally. He has been a board member of several arts organisations from: The Gate Theatre, Tara Arts, Black Mime Theatre, Onyxarts Foundation and Tomorrow's Warriors.


Naseem Khan OBE

Project Advisor

Naseem Khan's working life has covered journalism, broadcasting, research, policy development and arts administration. Her central focus has been on cultural diversity. She was Head of Diversity for the Arts Council 1996-2003 but actively engaged long before that. In 1976, she wrote the pioneering report, 'The Arts Britain Ignores' - widely regarded as opening the debate on the nature of British culture - and was founder-director of the first national body for non-indigenous arts and artists, MAAS. As a journalist, she wrote a weekly column for two years on cultural issues, `Work in Progress', for the New Statesman and was Theatre Editor of Time Out. She was coordinator of the vast alternative Festival of India in 1983, and Senior Associate of the research consultancy, Comedia. With Comedia, she worked on projects around the future of urban parks, public libraries and the social impact of the arts. In 1999, she was awarded the OBE. She is currently a producer with Nomad Projects and is working on a memoir.


Matt Fenton

Project Advisor


Matt Fenton is Artistic Director/Chief Executive at Contact in Manchester, the leading UK arts venue to place young people's leadership and decision-making at the heart of the organisation. Contact presents an innovative public programme of contemporary theatre, dance, spoken word, music and cabaret for a young and highly diverse audience. Contact delivers a wealth of young people’s creative and leadership activity, including flagship projects The Agency (with Battersea Arts Centre), ReCON: young programmers, and Future Fires, as well as the Queer Contact, Flying Solo and Contacting the World Festivals. Recent Contact productions include No Guts No Heart No Glory by CommonWealth, RITES by Yusra Warsama (with National Theatre Scotland), Big Girl’s Blouse by Kate O’Donnell, and Under the Covers (Contact Young Co with Stacy Makishi). In 2014, Contact won the UK Theatre Award for Diversity, the Co-Op Respect Inclusive Venue of the Year, and the Lever Prize for business. Matt was previously Director of Nuffield Theatre Lancaster, where he pioneered projects that saw artists and local residents act as venue programmers. As a theatre director, he worked most recently with digital specialists Imitating the Dog, composer Neil Hannon, and the Ligeti Quartet on the chamber opera ‘In May’.


Khully Thiarai

Project Advisor

Kully is an experienced Theatre Director and Executive Director of Cast, a new £22 million performance venue in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.  Having opened in September 2013, Cast is a people’s theatre and a cultural living room for the town that is a place for performance, participation and conversation.

Always interested in the new and curious about the world Kully has created a diverse range of work that spans communities, cultures and performance styles. She has directed large-scale epics, new plays and made work in non-theatre spaces.

Kully is a Clore Fellow, an RSA Fellow and board member of Manchester International Festival, Z Arts, Pilot Theatre and ATG foundation.


Kwame Lestrade

Content Partner

Kwame is a writer, producer and director - and the driving force behind Franklyn Lane Films.  In addition to independent films, he is passionate about projects that inspire new learning and development, particularly within creative communities which are often marginalised and whose potential is at risk of going undiscovered.


With over 14 years experience behind the lens, coupled with 10 years experience mentoring fresh talent, Kwame's work is increasingly informed by the change he would like to see in the world.


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