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Monday 1 February 2021


Join us for the latest Online Edition of Maker Monday on Monday 1st February, our fortnightly slice of online inspiration from the creative and tech worlds.

We are delighted to welcome our special guests Piali Ray and Sabra Khan from Sampad and Rosa Cisneros from Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research.

Along with our guest speakers and host, we will also be joined by the STEAMhouse team and academics, so we can address any question, no matter how big or small to support you in further developing your digital knowledge and skills.


Our Speakers

Piali Ray OBE – Director of Sampad

Piali has been a performer, teacher and choreographer in the UK since 1982. She is well-known for her excellence in these fields and has toured extensively throughout the world with organisations such as Birmingham REP, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), The National Gallery, the National Theatre and the British Council.

Born in Bengal, Piali first moved to Birmingham in 1982 and quickly identified that artists working in culturally diverse Britain would benefit from formal, structured support that would help them to establish their place within mainstream culture and showcase their rich heritage. Her formidable energy and vision led to the setting up of Sampad in 1990.

Under her leadership, Sampad has flourished into a dynamic, forward-thinking arts and heritage organisation, which continues to play an influential role in creating and promoting opportunities for South Asian arts and artists in Birmingham, across the UK and beyond.

She has a strong track record of collaborating and connecting with organisations at an international level and continues to take a lively interest in the cultural influences and experiences of people of South Asian heritage across the world.

Piali was awarded with an OBE in 2002, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England in 2006 and Outstanding Business Person of the Year by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in 2009.

In 2012 she was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad to produce two large-scale shows; Moving Earth, one of Sampad’s biggest dance productions to date, and Mandala, the dazzling multimedia finale of the prestigious London 2012 Festival.

She was highly commended by the judges at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards In 2015 and in 2017 she was appointed as a Festival Director for Birmingham’s biggest arts festival, the award-winning Birmingham Weekender.

Sabra Khan – Executive Director, Sampad.

Sabra has worked in the arts and cultural sector for more than 20 years, as a Creative Producer and Project Manager.

Her early career saw her managing Women & Theatre and Nahid Siddiqui Dance Company and she went on to gain significant experience within the intercultural arts sector at the PAN Centre and ShivaNova in London. From 2002-2006 she managed Birmingham’s major large-scale arts festival, ArtsFest.

Sabra is a Producer for BEDLAM, a pioneering arts festival centred on the theme of mental health, delivered by The Birmingham Rep, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and partners.

She sits on the Audience Development Forum for the Royal Shakespeare Company and she is also the Skills Manager for Creative & Cultural Skills (Midlands), managing key relationships with members and through her freelance work she supports artists and organisations with project development and fundraising bids.

Rosa Cisneros, Coventry University.

Rosa Cisneros is a researcher, dancer, choreographer, sociologist and curator who is an artist-researcher at the Centre for Dance Research (Coventry University) and works closely with the Digital RomArchive and many NGOs and charities. She is involved in various EU-funded projects which aim to make education and arts accessible to vulnerable groups and ethnic minorities, and part of cultural heritage projects that bring dance, site and digital technologies together.

Her PhD is in Sociology with a focus on Roma women, intersectionality, dialogic feminism and communicative methodologies was awarded Summa Cum Laude. She has started her own production company, RosaSenCis Film Production Co., which worked on the Society for Dance Research Oral History Project and also ran the Dancing Bodies in Coventry project. Cisneros’ dance films have screened in the UK, US, Colombia, Mexico, Greece, Cyprus and Germany and her medium-length documentary won best documentary from the UK in 2016.

She has also designed and managed major EU-Funded projects and local City of Culture Partnership projects. She sits on academic Journals as an editorial assistant and those include the Journal for Embodied Practices and International Journal of Romani Studies.

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