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.
Sudha Bhuchar is co founder of Tamasha theatre company where she served as co artistic director for 25 years before stepping down in Spring 2015. She is an actress and playwright and has performed in and written much of Tamasha’s body of work - including most recently the critically acclaimed My Name is… which has just finished a tour of Scotland. She has written extensively for Radio 4 and Radio credits include three series of Girlies (with Shaheen Khan) and a recent adaptation of her play, My Name is… She has also co written an episode of Doctors, a short tv film The House across the street and Midnight feast (all with Shaheen khan).
In addition to many acting roles, Sudha is forging a freelance career using all the strings to her bow and has a number of projects on her future slate including Golden Hearts which began as a scratch performance at St George’s hospital and was supported by the British Heart Foundation. She is delighted to be developing Golden Hearts in 2016 as Artist in Residence at East London Genes and Health. Sudha is planning to remount Child of the divide in 2017 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India.
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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.
Afreena Islam is a Board Member at Contact, the place where she first forayed into the world of performance, 7 years before.
She has just finished managing a year-long project called Divergency, a collaboration between hÅb (producer, developer and advocate of live art and sited work in the North) and STUN (a dedicated space for BAME creatives), seeking to engage more BAME artists in live art and contemporary performance.
At the moment, by day she works as a researcher for the Race Relations Archive on ‘The Legacy of Ahmed’ Project, exploring the media reporting around the murder of 13 year old schoolboy Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, as he defended younger pupils from racist bullying.
By night she is making a performance called ’Daughters of the Curry Revolution’, a reflection on her fathers journey to this country, and his journey to this day.
And in between she is on the management committee at Ananna - Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation, works freelance for a number of arts organisations, and is learning BSL.
Dr Robert Berkeley
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.
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.
Madani took over as Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in 2012. In 2013 he programmed the company’s most successful season to date, which saw the theatre play to 99% capacity. For the Bush he has previously directed Chalet Lines. Prior to his appointment at the Bush, he was Artistic Director of Freedom Studios in Bradford, Yorkshire where his work included the site-specific work, The Mill – City of Dreams. He has also worked nationally and internationally as theatre director, writer and practitioner. Whilst at Freedom Studios Madani collaborated with the Bush Theatre through workshops culminating in Freedom’s two week residency in 2010 at the theatre. He was previously Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company’s Asian Theatre School. Madani originally trained in film, and his debut short film Ellabellapumpanella, commissioned by the UK Film Council, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007. He was the recipient of the Decibel Award at the South Bank Awards show in 2006.
After drama school Anton Phillips began an acting career in Britain that broke many racial barriers, appearing as the first black actor in many TV series, including General Hospital, The Saint, The Bill, and becoming best known as a cast member of Space 1999.
His professional life has been dedicated to the promotion of black theatre and to that end Phillips started a number of projects that significantly changed the profile of black and Asian theatre in Britain. These included the Carib Theatre Company, the Black Theatre Season, and the Black Theatre Forum, companies that were responsible for giving opportunities to many black and Asian writers, actors and theatre technicians.
Under his direction, Carib Theatre's production of The Amen Corner by James Baldwin was the first black-produced and directed play to transfer to the West End of London, an important theatre area. He has directed in Germany, the Netherlands, and France. He has also managed a 60-strong company of singers, dancers, and musicians from South Africa on a touring tribute to Oliver Tambo that was presented at the Barbican Centre in London and atSalisbury Cathedral, England.
In addition to being an actor, director and producer, Anton Phillips has contributed to magazines and newspapers, usually writing about the state of black arts in the UK. He has also produced a film, the documentary Home Sweet Harlesden, a collection of interviews with the first Caribbean immigrants to Britain.
Reece Irvin Williams is a graduate of the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, holding a 2:1 BA Hons in Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management. He is a Mancunian poet of Jamaican and Trinidadian heritage. Having been a member of the Young Identity and Inna Voice spoken word collectives since 2007, Reece now acts a Peer Mentor and Project Administrator for Young Identity. Since joining YI, Reece has performed on the local, national and international spoken word scene (Brave New Voices, 2008 & 2009; NuYorican Poets Café, 2010).
As a member of Young Identity and Inna Voice, Reece has responded to work by the likes of Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jean Binta Breeze, Forward Poetry Prize winner Kei Miller, international spoken word legend Saul Williams, Mercury Award nominated Kate Tempest and the late Amiri Baraka (formerly known as LeRoi Jones).
Reece is a workshop facilitator (poetry/spoken word, film studies), race relations activist, independent theatre producer and a Trustee at Contact. Reece also serves as a Peer Mentor on a variety of youth-orientated projects such as The Agency-combining his passions for the Performing Arts and the Creative Industries sectors and young people.
Marc is founder and Creative Director of B3 Media, a leading media arts network which in 5 years has supported a network of over 2000 BAME creative arts and has been responsible for innovative initiatives across film, visual arts, new media and spoken word.
He also produces B3 Talentlab a successful talent development incubator programme for emerging creative artists and producers.
Recently, Marc produced L8 Unseen, a groundbreaking cross-platform storytelling project based on stories from the Liverpool 8 (Toxteth) community for the Museum of Liverpool, with artist/ photographer Othello De'Souza-Hartley, which was seen by over 420,000 visitors.
Previously, Marc worked as a Senior Executive at UK Film Council (New Cinema Fund) and the Bank of England. He also holds an MBA and is a NESTA Fellow (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).
Arti has been Spare Tyre's Artistic Director/CEO since 2006.
Under Arti’s leadership and vision, Spare Tyre has developed its inclusive creative practice championing diverse voices. She has a strong commitment to collaborative participatory art, nurturing the creative impulse that leads to personal and political fulfilment.
She is a Winston Churchill Fellow 2013 researching spirituality, dementia and ageing, and is a Fellow of the RSA.
Mohammed Ali is an award winning artist, curator and creative producer. Ali has been a pioneer in the street-art movement, fusing street art with Islamic script and patterns, delivering powerful and moving messages. Art meets faith, identity and social change in Ali’s work, adorning the canvas of walls and public spaces and continues to change the visual landscapes of the cities we live in. His art has inspired and informed a new generation across the globe, to boldly express their identity and ideals.
Ali’s ethos of “taking art to the people” has evolved to combine street art with live performances, installations, digital projections and moving soundscapes. He has created truly immersive experiences for audiences throughout the world. From street canvases in New York, Amsterdam, London and Melbourne, to intimate performances in the Vatican, Ali has used his art and collaborations with critically acclaimed musicians and poets to produce unique experiences.
His work serves as a bridge, bringing together communities divided by culture, faith and ethnicity. Ali’s complex exploration of challenging social issues through Art, provide transformative and radical tools to counteract challenges facing society.
In 2008 Ali established Soul City Arts a global arts movement bringing together artists, activists and communities. It was driven by a shared commitment to transform society. Ali describes his approach as ‘shifting mindsets’. His formula is to combine creative expressions with strategic visioning, and has been awarded commissions with international NGO’s, corporations, and charities.
Zarah Hussain is an MA graduate of the Visual Islamic and Traditional Art programme at the Prince's School for Traditional Arts in London. She has spent many years perfecting the traditional techniques for creating mathematically precise, geometric art and then adapting them to produce unique works with a contemporary resonance across a range of disciplines. Her work is held in many national collections.
Zarah is exhibiting at the Islamic Arts festival at the Sharjah Art Museum from December 2015 - January 2016. Her animation "Sharjah Spectrum' is fully interactive, it has been designed so that it is almost mathematically impossible for the animation to play exactly the same sequence twice with the exact same colours in the same order.
She has had numerous exhibitions across the UK and a major show in 2014 at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 'Symmetry in Sculpture', was extended twice due to popular demand. She also created an interactive, geometric animation called Magic Carpet which was projected onto the exterior of the William Morris gallery. This same animation was used earlier in 2015 to provide stage lighting and background visuals for the Transcender music festival at the Barbican.
Hussain has completed several public art commissions, she recently created an indoor installation for Sotheby’s Islamic Art week. She has also designed a room for the new Royal London Hospital and a street project in Barking funded by the Mayor of London’s outer London Fund.
Hussain has received the Mosaic Award for Art and Culture presented by HRH the Prince of Wales and has been nominated three times for the Jameel Prize at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Zarah Hussain lives and works in London.
Simeilia began her career in the arts at 13 with the lead role in Rebecca Prichard's play 'Fairgame' at the Royal Court Theatre, St Martin's Lane. During her BA, she decided to direct her first play 'For Colored Girls.' The play received a revival at Roehampton University and Simeilia was accredited her first 1st grade.
Training at the Young Vic Theatre and the National Theatre she was taken under the wing of UK directors Indhu Rubasingham and Michael Buffong. She went on to direct and assist various theatre productions across the UK, including musical adaptations: Magic Flute and Christmas Carols, in South Africa. The two musicals opened at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town before touring to the Young Vic Theatre in London which was subsequently followed by an world-wide tour.
In 2008, Kwame Kwei-Armah employed Simeilia as the Project Manager for his Black Play Archive (BPA) initiative at The Royal National Theatre. In 2013, Simeilia launched her 'Diversity in Plays and Monologue for Black Actors' course, which initially took place at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2014, Simeilia gained the support of Oberon Books, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Arts Council England to produce the first monologue anthology for Black Actors from Black British plays entitled 'The Oberon Book of Monologues for Black Actors: Classical and Contemporary Speeches from Black British Plays'. This included forewords by Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and Naomie Harris.
She went on to produce a short film documentary entitled 'Voices From The Black Row', with Narrow Path Films, supported by Theatre Royal Stratford East. More recently, with the support of Bloomsbury Publishing, Simeilia is currently working on a second collection of monologue books for black actors from plays by British and International playwrights.
Simeilia is the Founder and Executive Manager of the Artistic Directors of the Future, a training initiative designed to increase the number of Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic Artistic Directors in mainstream theatres. This initiative is supported by the Young Vic Theatre and Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme.