Bright Lights

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Role Models and Leaders in Arts and Culture

Research into the impact of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic role models.

Maya Productions are delighted to have five industry professionals (Doreen Foster, Alison Holder, Tony Gayle, Keith Saha and Roshni Savjani) working with us on this mentoring programme for Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse talent, that we are coordinating in association with Stage Sight. Our aim with this scheme is to strengthen and expand diversity across the sector, offering support and guidance to those at quite a pivotal moment.

The current participants on the scheme are:

Annette Corbett – Independent producer/fundraiser/cultural strategist and coach.

Inayah Thomas – Stage Manager.

Stuart Thomson – Technical Assistant/Stage Manager.

Sarah Sayeed – Writer/Composer/Sound Designer.

Chateelah Green – Freelance Producer.


Diverse role models and leaders are important for increasing workforce diversity. Seeing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic artists in the spotlight builds ambition in young people and motivates individuals to step into a career in the arts. Listening to ethnically diverse leaders in positions of power inspires confidence in the ability of the industry to reflect the rich tapestry of our society. Including more ethnically diverse workers across the industry takes us closer to the creation of great art that can speak to a wide range of people.

Role models come in different types, BRIGHT LIGHTS, GUIDES, FORGERS and ENABLERS. In different ways they all can influence others and make a difference.

The guide shows how ethnically diverse role models can help challenge and change the status quo. It shows how role models can change perceptions of who should and shouldn’t work in performing arts. It shows how leaders and organisations can take practical steps to open the sector up to a more diverse workforce. And it shows how to seek out role models and learn from them.

This guide is designed to help more Bright Lights, Guides, Forgers and Enablers take the stage and make the performing arts a more inclusive place to work.

This Pocket Guide follows on from a Clore/AHRC funded research project, Where Am I? led by Suzanne Gorman in collaboration with Dr Doris Eikhoff and CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, University of Leicester.

The guide was launched on 30 November 2017 at the Curve Theatre, Leicester with CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, University of Leicester.

Download a PDF of the Pocket Guide

Download the PDF of the full research paper.