Join us on Thursday 11th February at 2pm as our current series of online discussions about improving diversity and inclusion in the arts in NI concludes with a very special panel event!

Our incredible guest speakers are Nisha Tandon OBE, CEO of ArtsEkta, Lori Gatsi-Barnett, entrepreneur and creator of the JoinHer Network and Kwa Daniels, founder of Bounce Culture.

Each of them created their own successful and influential organisations and spaces to honour and promote diversity and inclusion in Northern Ireland. They will discuss their experiences and what could be done now in NI to increase participation and inclusion in the Arts.

The event will be hosted by Esther Andare, our New Needs Intern – read her latest blog here!

The session will take place via Zoom, register now to book your place! 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Our Panel

Nisha Tandon OBE

Nisha is the founder & director of ArtsEkta – one of the only organisations on the island of Ireland promoting intercultural arts, culture and heritage and a vibrant Social enterprise. She founded this organisation in 2006 following two decades of experience in the arts and after discovering a critical gap for quality ethnic minority arts engagement in the sector. She holds a degree from the National School of Drama in New Delhi and is a trained Bharatanatyam Indian classical dancer. In addition, she is a member Belfast City Council’s Festival Forum strategy subgroup and is Northern Ireland representative for Voluntary Arts BAME Advisory UK Panel. She has also been a previous board member of Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Cultural Cities Enquiry and currently serving Board member on Voluntary Arts UK and Community Relations Council

In 2007 initiated Northern Ireland’s first multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary arts festival Belfast Mela now attracting annual audiences of up to 30,000 people. At the early stages of her career, she worked across different roles in the private sector and as a freelance artist.

In June 2014, Nisha was the first Asian women from Northern Ireland to be awarded the prestigious UK Asian Women of Achievement Award for contribution to arts culture and heritage, and later that month was awarded an OBE for services to the minority ethnic sector in the 2014 Queen’s Honours List. In 2015, Nisha won the British Indian Award for ‘Indian Spirit in the Community’ presented by Trade Next and BDO. Nisha has also been awarded the Chief Officers Third Sector award for Leading Growth & Innovation in 2016.

Lori Gatsi-Barnett

Lori Gatsi-Barnett is a business owner, social entrepreneur, motivational speaker and diversity and inclusion campaigner. Lori hails from Harare, Zimbabwe and lived and studied in the United States. In 2019 she founded the inspirational JoinHer Network in Northern Ireland, a community interest company open-for-all, bringing together an internationally diverse group of women whose main scope of work is to change women’s lives for the better. Lori says, “Things may be challenging but life is what one makes it. There are many surprises out there, you will not know until you take the chance. There are no limits to what we women can do.” Lori also presents the Join Her TV programme on NVTV. She has recently delivered training through Business in the Community to Northern Irish businesses on tackling racism in the workplace and improving inclusion. She is also a board member of Terra Nova Productions theatre company in East Belfast.

Kwa Daniels

Kwa founded Bounce Culture in Derry in 1999. Bounce Culture is a team of creative industry facilitators passionate about using creative technology to empower people to connect with their “Inner Rhythm,” which they define as activities that encourage happiness daily, increasing productivity. Kwa Daniels has fulfilled a range of roles and responsibilities, working in partnership with a variety of organisations within the public, private and community sectors through his work as CEO of Bounce Culture. Spanning 20 years, Kwa has vast experience in Curriculum design, Project Management, Event Management & Production as well as Programme Development of small- and large-scale events, involving nearly 20,000 participants across over 700 events impacting nearly 100,000 attendees across U.K, Ireland, Europe and recently West Africa. Kwa is able to draw upon a group of experienced professional freelance artists and facilitators that originate from Kenya, France, Jamaica, Italy, UK, and Ireland, when needed, to execute a vibrant series of educational programmes and events. Inclusiveness and innovation are central to Bounce Culture’s Inner Rhythm.

His clients include BBC, British Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Big Lottery, Cathedral Quarter Trust (Culture Night) Community Relations Council Northern Ireland, MENCAP Northern Ireland, MTV, Prince’s Trust Northern Ireland, Citi Group, National Citizens Service, (NCS) and Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, The Culture Company (Music Promise), PCSP (Police & Community Safety Partnership.)

Huge thanks to all our panelists!

Please email us at [email protected] with any queries.

GTG Diversity Forums are supported by the Community Foundation NI New Needs fund.