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Cultural Ambition Leicester

  • International, Original, Together

    International, Original, Together

  • International, Original, Together

    International, Original, Together

  • International, Original, Together

    International, Original, Together

  • International, Original, Together

    International, Original, Together

About Us

The Cultural Partnership Board was set up in 2011, and members of the board act as champions for culture in Leicester, provide strategic leadership to facilitate social and economic regeneration through culture, and help to ensure 'joined-up' and equitable delivery of cultural provision. We will achieve the delivery of the Ambition Statement by working with others. If you'd like to get involved, get in touch.

Cassandra Soulsby

Cassie opened her first Leicester business in 2000. She now owns The Exchange - a bar in the heart of Leicester's Cultural Quarter, which host events from open mic nights to book launches, stand-up comedy to baby coffee clubs. As Chair of the Cultural Quarter Business Association her focus is on encouraging involvement from other business and organisations in the area, enabling people to work together to nurture success in the area.

As a child growing up in Leicester Cassie took every opportunity to perform on Leicester stages including The Haymarket and De Montfort Hall. Now, as a mother of four now she takes advantage of the many festivals and events in the City and has found a new level of appreciation for Leicester's museums, parks and libraries.

Councillor Piara Singh Clair

Cllr Clair is presently under the new political system of Elected Mayor for Leicester. He is an assistant Mayor for Culture, Leisure and Sports. He feels deeply honoured to take this challenge to serve the local people of Leicester.

Fiona Allan

Fiona Allan is Chief Executive of Curve, one of Britain's leading producing theatres, based in Leicester's cultural quarter. Curve offers around 450 theatre performances each year across its three theatre spaces, and is increasingly known for its touring work: in the last three years over 300,000 people have seen Curve originated productions outside of Leicester, in venues spanning five continents. Prior to joining Curve, Fiona was Artistic Director at the Wales Millennium Centre, responsible for the design of a comprehensive artistic programme of more than 1000 events annually ranging from Cameron Macintosh musicals to Valery Gergiev giving the UK premiere of the Mariinsky Ring Cycle.

She came to the UK in 2004 from an established career in Australia which included holding positions of Chief Executive of the Sydney Film Festival, and Producer (Major Events) at the Sydney Opera House, as well as lecturing in the MBA programme at the University of Technology, Sydney. In addition to her involvement with the Cultural Partnership Board, Fiona is currently a member of Dance Consortium UK and a board member of the Theatrical Management Association.

Geoff Rowe

Geoff promoted his first concert aged 13, much to the annoyance of his parents! Fed up with nothing to do in his home village, he promoted a gig in the local village hall. The gig proved to be a success so he continued promoting concerts throughout his teenage years. Fuelled with this initial success, Geoff went on to work in the music industry in London for a year, before moving to Leicester and starting an Arts Administration degree course at De Montfort University. One of Geoff's earliest placements was working on the public celebrations for the opening of the channel tunnel in Folkestone. As part of his final year studies Geoff helped launch Leicester Comedy Festival in 1994 and has been involved in developing the festival ever since.

Geoff managed the transition of Leicester Comedy Festival Ltd to Big Difference Company which took place on 1st April 2009. The transition included developing the new name and brand and also the promotion and marketing of the new name to clients and partners. Geoff has spoken to many different groups including the Institute of Directors, The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), The Business Club and UKPHA Conference. He recently contributed to BBC One's "The Big Question" programme, presented by Nicky Campbell and was a guest on BBC Radio 2's The Arts Show, interviewed by Claudia Winkleman.

Graham Lister

Director of ARTBUILDING PROJECTS – a company providing an eclectic range of services to the performing arts industry. Its two main strands of activity focus on theatre Producing and Production as well as providing Consultancy Services for new cultural sector capital projects. Most recently has been working with Bangor University on a new £36M Performing Arts and Innovation Centre due to open in 2014 which blends the arts and science's together under one roof.

ARTBUILDING'S recent theatre production work includes; Project and Event Management for BABEL - WORLD STAGES LONDON, OBAMA THE MAMBA - a new play based on the life of President Obama's Nairobi based brother, produced in association with Curve and The Lowry. ARTBUILDING were also responsible for staging the worlds first DIGITAL TEA DANCE - an immersive participative project celebrating and providing a voice for those who lived through World War II.

Prior to ARTBUILDING, Graham led on the development of Leicester's new performing arts centre CURVE, which radically challenges some of the thinking and conventions of traditional theatre and is arguably the best equipped and most innovative provincial theatre in the Country.

Jenna Hall

Since 1999, Jenna has led creative and cultural programmes that contribute to improved outcomes for children, young people and families. Her current role involves leading eight Children's Centres for families with a child aged 0-5yrs and influencing wider, non-statutory, provision for 5-19 year olds. Jenna moved to Leicester in 2009 to assume the role of Project Director for Find Your Talent and C.I.P. across Leicester Shire.

Previously, Jenna worked as a Trustee for Lambeth Play Association, on a community empowerment project in the Ukraine and delivered keynote addresses at conferences in South Korea and the USA. Jenna was awarded an MA in Education, Leading Community Learning in 2011.

Liz Blyth

Liz Blyth is Leicester City Council's Interim Director for Culture and Neighbourhood Services and her responsibilities include arts, museums, libraries, community services and sports as well as partnership development and cultural strategy.

From 2002 Liz was Leicester City Council's Cultural Strategy Manager and from 1997 she was seconded part time as the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland champion for the Cultural Improvement Partnership East Midlands (CIPEM). In 2009 Liz became CIPEM's director on a part time basis leading the local government improvement programme. Liz has experience in the cultural sector, health and social care, international development and neighbourhood renewal. She is a qualified youth and community worker, has a MA in Management, Organisation and Change and an ILM Executive Diploma in Management. She is also a graduate of 'Leading Learning', the national leadership programme for culture and has authored chapters for two Open University books on inter-professional working in health and social care.

Lucy Phillips

Lucy is Director of the Leicester Print Workshop and a trustee of Charnwood Arts. She sits on the steering committee for EMVAN, the East Midlands Visual Arts Network and is an active member of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Visual Arts Group. She is a (very) part time project manager for a small international family support charity and is a mentor on a current Creative Leicestershire scheme.

Since graduating in The History of Art, Design and Film in 1990 Lucy has worked in the arts & crafts and voluntary sectors, as a marketeer, a fundraiser and latterly as a development consultant, she joined LPW in April 2008. Originally from neighbouring Warwickshire, she moved to Leicester (via South Yorks and Bucks) in 2000, attracted by the bright lights of the big city, and more particularly, at that time, by the live music and comedy and the independent cinema.

Ravinder Kaur

Ravinder is an advocate for the city's local, arts and music scene. Ravinder organises the Leicester Fringe Festival, which showcases the best in regional talent across the arts including digital arts, photography, comedy and music. The festival brings together a community of musicians, artist, promoters, venues and 'gig-goers'. She is also the Regional Representative for Summer Sundae Weekender; Leicester's flagship music festival delivered to a national audience from within the heart of the city.

Ravinder joined The Spark Art's for Children on the Board of Trustees in 2013. The charity offers children the opportunity to discover and enjoy the arts as audiences, as learners and as creators of their own art.

Academically her background lies in the area of Computer Science and New Media Publishing in which she is a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts.

Richard Clark

Richard Clark is Chief Executive of The Mighty Creatives, the young people's creative development agency for the East Midlands. Previously, he worked for Arts Council England as Creative Director for Creative Partnerships Leicester. This followed a 12 year career in educational development in higher education, running the Teaching and Learning Unit at the University of Leicester and launching flexible learning support services at Loughborough University. Richard has a long career as a community activist, helping launch Leicester Pride in 2001, taking the role of Parade Manager and then Event Manager/Company Director for 4 years. Richard is also a long-serving volunteer and trustee for Trade Sexual Health, an HIV prevention charity working across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, where his activities have included a stint as chair of the Board.

Samir Bhamra

Samir Bhamra was born in Kenya and is of mixed faith parentage. He moved to England when he was fourteen years old and is a multi-disciplinary artist with extensive experience in theatre/film/dance working with both corporate and public sector clients.

He is the artistic director of Phizzical, the creative director of the London Asian Film Festival and the executive producer at Serendipity producing the Let's Dance International Festival. Samir completed a development programme at the National Theatre where he focused on projects that have an international remit. He completed a secondment with Royal Shakespeare Company working on World Shakespeare Festival's programme. More recently, he was a project manager at Arts Council England working on the Cultural Olympiad programme in the East Midlands and a judge on Just Dance, the dance competition produced by Star TV.