BRENT ARTIST NETWORK: Black Cultural Leaders Discuss: Careers, Allyship, Accountability

10 July 2020

About this Event

This roundtable centres the voices of four Black leaders in the cultural sector who will discuss the implications of recent Black Lives Matter protests on the cultural sector, and how artists in Brent - emerging and established - can use their influence to effect change.

As well as sharing their thoughts on recent events, the panellists will also discuss their career paths in the performing arts, carnival arts, music, and academia, and their insights on navigating conversations about race in the workplace as creatives and artists.

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A where participants will be able to ask questions to the speakers.

This talk will cover:

  • Implications of this iteration of Black Lives Matter on cultural institutions and the creative sector
  • Panellists discussing their career paths as cultural leaders in the fields of the performing arts, carnival arts, and academia
  • Allyship and accountability in the cultural sector


Sandra Shakespeare

Sandra Shakespeare is a Museum and Heritage Consultant currently developing the Black British Museum Project: a museum experience dedicated to black history, art and culture. The project is a testament to the past, present and future of black people, their contributions and labour in the making of Great Britain. Sandra holds an MA in Museum and Galleries in Education (Responsive Museums: Inclusion and Outreach in Practice) from UCL, Institute of Education. Fundamental to her work is access to black cultural heritage and its global stories of connections.

Her career includes roles at The National Archives developing access to African Caribbean archival collections. Consultancy clients include Courtauld Art Institute, National Trust, Cornwall Museums Partnerships, Victoria and Albert Museum, among others. Museums Association member and Fellowship positions with RSA and Clore 2014/15. International work with the Asiko International Arts School in South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and Ethiopia. 2014 Sandra became a co-founder and member of Museum Detox - a growing diverse heritage network with members in the UK and allies from around the world.

You can follow Sandra at @shakes_sandra.


Mykaell Riley

Mykaell’s career started as a founder member of the British roots Reggae band Steel Pulse who would go on to receive a Grammy. As a professional writer / producer, his work encompassed TV, Film, resulting in eleven UK top twenty positions, and three UK number ones with sale recognised by Sliver, Gold and Platinum disks.

Mykaell’s a senior lecturer and Programme Director for the Black Music Research Unit, and Principal Investigator for Bass Culture Research. In 2009 he co-authored the first National Jazz report and the Value of Jazz 2 and contributed to the Black British Jazz report 2009-2011. In 2016, he received the first major AHRC award titled ‘Bass Culture’, to research the impact of Jamaican music in Britain. In 2017 his first research output championed the Grime Report in partnership with Ticketmaster, which resulted in a change in government legislation in 2017. In 2018 he staged the Bass Culture Exhibition, the UK’s largest photographic exhibit on the impact and influence of Jamaican music on Britain. 2019 saw the premier of ‘Bass Culture’ the film.. Mykaell now sits on the academic board for the Museum of London, HKW Berlin and is trustee for Tavaziva Dance and Finding Rhythms .

Clary Salandy

Clary Salandy is a carnival artist, theatre designer and three-dimensional design tutor specialising in large scale body sculptures. She studied at The Wimbledon School of Art and is internationally known for her innovative carnival designs, for which she has won many awards. Her work has featured on several TV arts documentaries and in many prestigious world events, such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the first Afro Asian games in Hyderabad India and the Millennium Gran finale in Singapore.

As Artistic director of Mahogany Community Ventures Limited she has established a centre of excellence for Carnival, designed to raise the awareness of the arts in the community. Mahogany plays a key role in the regeneration of local communities being a focus for the arts from this unique Carnival Arts studio in Harlesden. For the past twenty years Mahogany has presented spectacular performances at the Notting Hill carnival and at other carnivals worldwide.

Delia Barker

Delia is Programmes Director at the Roundhouse, a live music and performance space which is also a charity using creativity to transform, inspire and change the lives of young people aged 11- 25. Her previous role was Director of English National Ballet School, a world leading specialist training centre for highly talented ballet dancers aged 16-19, continuously rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Delia is also Chair of the Board for Studio Wayne McGregor (SWM) a world-leading, multi-faceted dance and creative organisation that is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio and that recently opened the first artist-led arts space in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.

Delia is a dance specialist and as such held the post of Senior Officer, Dance for Arts Council England for seven years, leading nationally on South Asian, African Peoples' and Disability-led dance practice before going on to manage a portfolio of diverse cultural organisations receiving £9.1 million of public investment. She has delivered business and organisation development as a consultant to Drake Music, StopGap Dance, Boy Blue Entertainment and Avant Garde Dance and she regularly mentors. She is a qualified organisational development practitioner certified by the NTL Institute, experienced in executive leadership development and management and trained in Action Learning Set facilitation and Virtual ALS facilitation with Action Learning Associates.

Brent Artist Network Online Series

The Brent Artist Network supports connection, collaboration, and resilience in the local cultural sector. The Brent Artist Network Online Series offers free skills workshops, themed talks from artists and funders, Q&As, and artist spotlights. Follow the Brent Artist Network on Instagram and Facebook.


BSL interpretation will be provided, and a video and transcript recording will be available to registrants.


This is an inclusive space that has zero tolerance for any racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic, colonial or derogatory behaviour.