Ten South Asian artists have been given £1000, bespoke mentoring and development training to see the next generation of diverse artists shine in Coventry.
Each artist has a different artistic specialism that they can bring to the programme; including costume design, dance, film making and creative writing.
The artists taking part in the programme are:
- Gayatri Pasricha, a UK-based graphic designer with a background in philosophy and economics.
- Bonny John, an experienced filmmaker and creative producer, with a history of working in the public relations and communications industries.
- Avtar Kaur, a costume designer with a BA in Fashion Design with Design For Performance from Birmingham City University. She loves to fuse British Victorian fashion and Indian culture into her designs.
- Nor Aziz, a creative engagement practitioner, focusing on creating a supportive community using a participatory approach.
- Lakshmi Srinivasan, a passionate and accomplished performer, tutor and choreographer, with a track record of work in the two distinct forms of Indian Classical Dance.
- Amisha Patel, a motivational speaker and cultural enthusiast who has worked with several South Asian Charities as a volunteer, undertaking a range of cultural activities in her roles.
- Kauser Husain, a creative writer, who has worked in the arts in both education and now in research, is interested in amplifying the voices and experiences of marginalised communities through her research and writing.
- Sahyadri Friends Group, the winner of the Epic Peer Award for Excellence 2020, it consists of a diverse mix of families from different parts of India, with a passion to build friendships and celebrate their diversities.
- Daksha Piparia, a community arts producer and project manager, and a member of several boards.
- Alex Kapila, an actor, presenter, voice-over artist and performer. She most recently worked with Sampad South Asian Arts, playing the role of The Psychiatrist in No Bond So Strong. Alex will work with Sarah Sayeed, a musician, composer and writer with over 15 years of experience working collaboratively with a range of artists.
The Abundance programme will see the group undertake a series of workshops and receive mentoring to develop their ideas and skills, before pitching to co-create the next Carnival of Lights event.
The Trust is working on the programme with Sampad Arts, a Midlands-based organisation that promotes and encourages British Asian artists to help them develop their skills, break new ground and enrich mainstream culture in the UK.
Navkiran Mann, Collaborative City team producer at Coventry City of Culture Trust said: “Coventry and Warwickshire have an abundance of South Asian artists skilled in a range of storytelling skills through digital arts using AR and immersive technologies, visual arts forms and performance art.
“In creating this programme, I wanted to build a platform for South Asian artists to be seen, heard and acknowledged, not only to ensure representation but also to inspire the next generation of South Asian artists to take up space in arts and culture.
“It is vital that South Asian children growing up in Coventry and Warwickshire see artists in their own image to encourage the next generation of South Asian artists to pursue a career in the arts and to know that arts and culture is for everyone.”
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “As someone from a mixed south Asian heritage I am delighted that our UK City of Culture will celebrate and champion the rich and diverse cultures of the artists that live in the city. Our partnership with Sampad on Abundance will allow us to reveal the incredible South Asian talent that we have here in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“I can’t wait to see what these 10 artists are planning to contribute to the next Carnival of Lights and to our wider year of events.”
Sabra Khan, Executive Director of Sampad, said: “Collaboration has always been a central part of our work at Sampad, and we are thrilled to be working with such a passionate, skilled and varied range of artists for Abundance.
“We have been incredibly impressed with the talent in Coventry and Warwickshire's South Asian communities, and we're delighted to partner with Coventry City of Culture Trust to support the journey of these artists. We look forward to showcasing their work as part of Coventry's Carnival of Lights, to provide some much-needed joy for audiences."