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Curve Community Ambassadors work with us to help us find new ways to connect with our local communities, ensuring our audiences reflect the diverse population of our city and county.
Using their local knowledge and expertise, they support us in identifying, building and sustaining new audiences from a range of backgrounds, as well as removing the barriers to attending and engaging in theatre.
Our current ambassadors – Barbara Grant-Bennett, Stacey McCarthy and Farhana Shaikh – have been part of our team since February 2021, where they helped us to distribute free tickets to stream our production of The Color Purple – at Home following sponsorship from PPL PRS and their Restore the Rhythm campaign. Since then, they have worked with us on a number of opportunities around our productions of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (pictured) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, plus off-stage activities such as our Diwali Family Day.
Scroll down to find out more about our Ambassadors!
Barbara Grant-Bennett has over three decades of experience of working with Leicester’s diverse communities, developing projects and programmes to benefit particularly those most vulnerable and in need.
A double Alumnus of Leicester’s flagship University, DMU, with BA (Hons) in Performing Arts and subsequently MA in Community Education (with Professional Qualification), Barbara currently works as a Community Engagement Officer for the Charitable Incorporated Organisation, St Matthew’s Big Local, which is having a significant impact on local people’s lives.
Barbara has recently joined Curve’s Community Ambassador Team. Her intention is to reach out to and galvanise support from Leicester’s ethnically diverse communities, particularly first-time theatre goers.
Stacey McCarthy is dancer choreographer, movement director and practitioner from Leicester, who is also a qualified Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) and provides access to the Performing Arts for the Deaf community and audiences. She regularly collaborates with and teaches young people. Stacey takes inspiration from art forms inspired by Black culture including contemporary and commercial styles of dance. She is currently working on some exciting shows, developing various projects of her own and is looking to further collaborate with Deaf and hearing creatives to bring more opportunities to the Midlands.
Stacey is also a Curve Resident Creative.
Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher born in Leicester. She is the founding editor of The Asian Writer, an online magazine championing Asian literature. She established Dahlia Publishing to publish regional and diverse writing and the Leicester Writes Festival to celebrate local writing talent. In 2017 she won the Penguin/Travelex Next Great Travel Writer competition. She has been longlisted for the Thresholds International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition and the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. She is the author of From Imposter to Impact: Arts Leadership in the 21st Century, a book she wrote during her time on the Curve Cultural Leadership programme. Her first short play, Risk was developed by Kali Theatre and a staged at Curve.
Farhana lives in Leicester but can be found on Twitter talking about books and publishing @farhanashaikh.