Attenborough Arts Centre announces new Advisory Board members

(From L to R) Meera Saujani, Kerry Law, Emeka Ejiofor, Jackie Perkins, Tara Lopez, Andrew Fletcher and Angelina Bingley. Credit: Toyin Dawudu

Attenborough Arts Centre today announces the appointment of six new Advisory Board members, following a public recruitment process.

Emeka Ejiofor, Jennifer Francis, Tara Lopez, Jackie Perkins and Meera Saujani will join Attenborough Arts Centre’s Advisory Board in March 2023 together with Angelina Bingley, who has joined the University as its Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer. The University of Leicester cultural venue, which recently secured renewed three year funding of £210,800 per year from Arts Council England as one of its 990 National Portfolio Organisations, launched the recruitment to inform its future development.

Kerry Law, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester and Chair of Attenborough Arts Centre Advisory Board, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome five new Advisory Board members to help shape the future of Attenborough Arts Centre. Each person brings a range of skills and expertise which complement the experience of our current Advisory Board members and will help us realise exciting new opportunities.’

Andrew Fletcher, Director of Attenborough Arts Centre, said: ‘We have ambitious plans to expand the reach of Attenborough Arts Centre and enhance its local, national and international profile as the UK’s leading university arts centre and a hub for inclusive contemporary culture and creativity. We are excited to work together with our new appointees, current Advisory Board members and staff to inform and implement our vision’.

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director, Arts Council England said: ‘We are pleased to welcome these new Advisory Board members to Attenborough Arts Centre - I’m sure their collective wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for creativity will prove invaluable. Attenborough Arts Centre puts dance, music, visual and performing arts in the heart of Leicester, bringing creativity to life for people across the city, and a strong, diverse and forward-thinking board is key to their success.’

Attenborough Arts Centre’s new Advisory Board members are:

Emeka Ejiofor

The creator and owner of the revolutionary lifestyle brand True Colours Clothing, Emeka is a renowned poet/spoken word artist (True Colours is his stage name). He is the author of the thought-provoking, must-read poetry collection Outspoken by True Colours (available on Amazon). He is a Trustee at Derby College and a huge advocate for equality in society. He is currently in the process of publishing Outspoken vol.2 and a children’s book, with a big emphasis on embracing cultural and individual differences. Emeka is an ex-semi-professional footballer who has played for the likes of Burton Albion, and has over 20 years’ experience working with young people in the education sector. He now facilitates SYTC workshops all over the country and is gaining a powerful reputation for invoking positive change in the education system.


Jennifer Francis

Jennifer is an experienced museum brand and marketing strategist who has held senior leadership roles at art institutions across three continents over the last 25 years. Interested in consumer behaviour from an early age, most recently she was the Director of Brand and Marketing at Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey. Previously she was at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts, in addition to consulting, freelancing and interim roles in the arts, cultural, heritage and tourism field.

Jennifer has an MA in Cultural Leadership and Policy Management from City University, London and has been an Adjunct Lecturer at Drexel University, Philadelphia. She is a Trustee of the Ironbridge Museums Trust and previously served on various Boards including ICOM-US, Art-Table National, Philadelphia Arts and Business Council, Fleisher Arts Memorial and Arts Council of England – London Regional Council.


Tara Lopez

Tara Lopez is a Cultural Producer, Strategist and Manager. Since graduating from De Montfort University where she studied Dance, Tara has managed a wide range of projects and programmes across; cultural participation, carnival arts and festivals, with a particular focus on work with, by and for children and young people. A particular drive across all of her work has been addressing inequalities and under-representation within the Cultural Sector; most notably this has included leading mass participation dance project 'Critical Mass' which aimed to redefine inclusion in mega-events starting with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


Jackie Perkins

Jackie Perkins was born profoundly deaf and grew up in Leicester. An exposure to theatre from a young age developed a real love for the arts for Jackie and her family. Jackie went onto to study art and attended Wolverhampton University to complete a diploma in Digital Media and Visual Literacy – the importance of the visual in everyday life resonates with her own visual language of British Sign Language. Jackie worked with deaf youth and deaf people with additional needs before becoming a teacher of BSL which she has done for many years. Jackie also teaches deaf awareness at organisations such as NHS. She loves teaching people the visual language of BSL and meeting many people from different backgrounds, believing in the importance of deaf and hearing worlds being more integrated so people can work and enjoy the arts together. Jackie’s passion is to improve accessibility to the arts, particularly for deaf people whose disability is often overlooked.


Meera Saujani

Meera is a marketing and communications expert with multi-discipline international experience across the public and private sectors. She has spent the last decade as a diplomat in China, working for the British Council, and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Meera has led on marketing and communications for a number of high-profile initiatives promoting the UK arts and creative industries, including the first ever bilateral UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange. She has spearheaded marketing partnerships with organisations including BAFTA, Secret Cinema and Aardman. Meera combines her passion for the arts and inclusivity, her local Leicester knowledge and her international expertise to bring a wealth of experience to Attenborough Arts Centre.


Angelina Bingley

As Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer at University of Leicester, Angelina Bingley leads the External Relations Division and is responsible for driving and delivering the University’s marketing, recruitment and external engagement.

Prior to joining the University in February 2023, Angelina was the Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Marketing at the University of East Anglia (UEA) where she led a team of over 200. Angelina has a strong background in marketing and communications, working for many years as a consultant in the private sector for FTSE100 companies before moving into Higher Education – first at the University of Southampton where she headed up strategic marketing, and for the last nine years in her director role at UEA.

Angelina is a member of the Executive Board, Senior Leadership Team, and Professional Services Executive Group. Outside the University, she is Vice-Chair of the Universities Marketing Forum and Chairperson of Norwich Rebels Touch Rugby team where she champions diversity and inclusion in sport.

Attenborough Arts Centre’s new Advisory Board members will join existing members Rebecca Blackwood, Professor Andrew Hugill, Kerry Law, Azam Mamujee, Jack McDonald, Sonal Joshi, Vishal Joshi and Professor Ross Parry:


Rebecca Blackwood

Rebecca Blackwood is a cultural strategist, marketeer and communicator. She devises creative approaches to audience development through exhibition, education, engagement programmes, digital, events, marketing & communications campaigns. She has delivered transformative strategies for cultural institutions & organisations, universities and corporates.

Formerly Executive Director of Arts Council England-funded Mansions of the Future, Rebecca is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Trustee of Arts Council England NPOs Primary and The Bowes Museum and an Advisory Board Member of Attenborough Arts Centre. She has curated exhibitions at The World of Wedgwood and The Summer of Ceramics at Doddington Hall and for Hull City of Culture 2017 the Tool Appreciation Society Exhibition and partnership with the BBC and Hull Culture & Libraries conceiving ‘Handmade in Hull’ the multi-award winning documentary.

Rebecca was formerly a corporate advisor to FTSE100, 250 and Fortune 500 companies. She has led campaigns to grow organisations by IPO, share issues and mergers and acquisitions.


Professor Andrew Hugill

Professor Hugill is a British composer, musicologist and writer as well as a nationally respected academic with an outstanding career championing innovation in digital media. He recently started a new Creative Computing course at the University of Leicester.  His current research into Aural Diversity is a ground-breaking study in how music is heard by people with different hearing impairment and is the author of the book, The Digital Musician.  He is also a champion for neuro diversity.


Kerry Law

Kerry Law is the University of Leicester’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Professional Services). She is a highly accomplished senior higher education professional and joined Leicester in January 2019 to help shape and deliver the future vision of the institution. Prior to joining the University of Leicester, Kerry was the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the University of Nottingham. She has a long career in marketing, of which she has spent over 20 years in Higher Education marketing leadership roles. Formerly she occupied senior roles at De Montfort University and FTSE100 company Pearson.  She is passionate about all forms of media and the arts and has been a strong supporter of Attenborough Arts Centre since she joined the University. Kerry became Chair of the Attenborough Arts Centre Advisory Board in April 2020.


Azam Mamujee

Azam has over 25 years of experience as a strategic adviser and is a key partner in M Cubed Chartered Accountants.

As a successful member of the Leicester business community and many years supporting Leicester based arts organisations through Trustee positions, Azam brings commercial rigour as well as a passion for education and the arts to the Advisory Board.


Jack McDonald

As a recent University of Leicester Mathematics MMath Graduate, Jack McDonald is the University of Leicester Students’ Union Activities Officer for the 2022/23 academic year. He was voted in by students to represent their views and interests in the Student’s Union, who work to support students, provide opportunities so that they can have new experiences to develop their skills and to empower their voices within the university. His role on the Advisory Board is to make sure that the student voice is represented within Attenborough Arts Centre.


Sonal Joshi

Sonal Joshi is the Head of Finance for Internal Performance & Planning at the University of Leicester. She is a CIMA qualified management accountant with over 20 years’ experience in finance. Sonal has been at Leicester since 2009 and has worked in various roles within the Finance division. Prior to joining Leicester Sonal had worked for a number of universities, including Imperial, Warwick and Nottingham.


Vishal Joshi

A Leicester-based multidisciplinary fine artist, Vishal Joshi was recently commissioned to create a unique piece of art commemorating the Centenary of the University of Leicester. He has also painted a large mural within the Leicester Museum and Gallery. His unique style of mark making has been widely appreciated and celebrated. In recent years, MMA fighter Conor McGregor and actor-comedian Asim Choudhry have acquired Vishal’s original pieces. Joshi’s ability to create public engagement artwork that is inspiring and beautiful is what he is becoming known for. A large outdoor mural inspired by the identity of Europeans after Brexit was commissioned by STAMP Festival in Hamburg. Through his art, Vishal is a socio-cultural activist driven to express his beliefs with painting and sculpture as his methods of expression.


Professor Ross Parry

Professor Parry is a widely published author and leading academic in the development and implementation of digital technology in the museum and cultural sector. A former Tate Fellow, he is currently Deputy Head of the internationally renowned School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, the Director of the Institute for Digital Culture, and leads a multi-partner research consortium ‘One by One’ – which includes the Smithsonian Institution, V&A the Museums Association and Arts Council England.  A passionate advocate for access and equality within museums, he is Chair of the Jodi Mattes Trust for accessible digital culture.


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