Team and Trustees
Alka Bagri - Trustee
Originally from: Made in India.
Background: Indian Miniature Painting and Arabic Calligraphy.
Other experiences: Former Trustee of the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and served on the International Honorary Board of the Deccan Heritage Foundation. Committee member of Lily Against Human Trafficking. I have an interest in the performing and fine arts, storytelling and world cinema.
What drives me: My constant desire to learn new things. Through the Foundation I get to share what I’ve learned in arts and culture with others.
Recommended read – watch – listen: Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber – Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring by Kim Ki-duk – Popular music
Curious about: Hip hop dance, Japanese aesthetics, Global Cinema.
Personal Quirk: The ability to throw myself into anything – from a trek in the mountains of Bhutan to a Street Art tour in Berlin.
Apurv Bagri - Trustee
Originally from: Mumbai.
Background: The Business side of the Foundation is particularly where I lend my advice. I actively support the Bagri Foundation to ensure it remains entrepreneurial, ambitious, innovative and thoughtful, in the same spirit as which it was founded.
Other experiences: President of the Metdist Group of Companies and Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Dubai Financial Services Authority and a Trustee of Asia House. Chairman of the Governing Body of the London Business School, Former Pro Chancellor and Chair of Council at City University and now an honorary rector and visiting professor at Cass Business School. I am also a non-executive Director of the Hong Kong Exchange and former Chairman of the Royal Parks. I am passionate about education and maintain an interest in arts and environmental projects in the UK and abroad.
What drives me: I love travelling and seeing the world and I relish the idea of defying one’s expectations that I am all ‘business’ all the time. Inspired by my late father, the Lord Bagri, I inherited a light-hearted way of looking at the world and a strong belief in philanthropy.
Recommended read – watch – listen: Airline Timetables, Travel Magazines and Jane Austen – Suits – music of 80s/90s and western classical music.
Curious About: EVERYTHING. I could never choose just one.
Personal Quirk: Being surrounded by strong women in the family, I have to rely on my sense of humour and playfulness to get some attention!
Aditi Bagri - Trustee
Originally from: Born Londoner, but global citizen
Background: Economic History and Management, Organisations and Governance
Other experiences: Began working in micro-finance in rural India where I established a proprietary platform to provide financial services to the ‘unbanked’. Also part of the leadership team of our family group of companies Metdist, setting a vision for the organisation and overseeing its global operations. I grew up with a love for performing arts, theatre and music, playing three musical instruments and dancing competitively in a variety of dance styles. As a performer, I am moved by a wide range of artistic expressions and aim to understand the context in which art is made and the impact that it can have.
What drives me: Socioeconomic change and its affect on individuals. Guided by a strong set of values, I believe in investing in people, challenging the status quo and championing diversity.
Recommended read – watch: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kanalithi – The Crown and Delhi Crime
Curious About: Finding my place in the world. How does one stay original and create a unique identity?
Personal Quirk: My tiny size can be deceiving; with my quick thinking I am usually the winner of any argument!
Amisha Bagri - Trustee
Originally from: Born Londoner, but global citizen
Background: International Relations and then Management.
Other experiences: Started in philanthropic consultancy, helping not-for-profits adopt good business practices. Since then I’ve spent time in the music, hospitality and retail industries. I am currently a Director at Metdist Enterprises Ltd where we identify investment opportunities and of course am a Trustee of the family Foundation.
What drives me: Learning is key. Curiosity itself is the driving force behind my work at the Foundation. I share a zeal for education, culture and enterprise and my aspiration is to help ensure the Foundation reflects these shared passions.
Recommended read – watch- – listen: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – The Shawshank Redemption – ‘How I Built this Podcast’ with Guy Raz
Curious About: People’s journeys…
Personal Quirk: My undying love for Tupac, may he rest in peace.
Chelsea Pettitt - Head of Arts
Originally from: California.
Background: Art History, Visual Anthropology and Fashion Design.
Previous experience and projects: Head of Partnerships at Wysing Arts Centre, Assistant Curator at Hayward Gallery, taught English in China. Worked on large-scale international projects with over a hundred partners; including ECVAN’s New Geographies; Move: Choreographing You; A House in the Sky plus solo exhibitions by Kim Beom, Louise Bourgeois, William Kentridge, Mark Leckey and Yu-Chen Wang. Grants from Art Fund and European Cultural Foundation to Holland, Taiwan & Turkey.
What drives me: Supporting cultural artistic exchange and discovering exciting, new artists. Luckily, my role at the Bagri Foundation epitomises this!
Recommended read – watch – listen: The Opposite of Fate a biography by Amy Tan – Raise the Red Lantern by Zhang Yimou– The ‘Invisibilia’ podcast.
Curious about: East Asian art and culture generally. Also how we, as a society, can capture contemporary life today. How do we make diverse cultures and experiences less abstract to others?
Personal Quirk: My obsession with colourful vintage dresses and the rare slip into a VERY northern Californian accent.
Elizabeth Horton - Senior Marketing & Communications Manager
Originally from: Surrey
Background: Literature, Art History, music, theatre.
Previous experience and projects: Events and communications for Mole Valley District Council, internships at Calvert 22 art foundation and gallery, Camden Arts Centre, Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery and previously a Trustee of community arts charity Ingeenium. Projects include a youth awards night with performances and art exhibition for charity and a street arts festival event.
What drives me: Building relationships and a constant desire to learn, both of which are pivotal to my role and the work of the Foundation.
Recommended read – watch – listen: Milk and Honey a poetry collection by Rupi Kaur – Amazing Grace concert film/documentary on Aretha Franklin, Italy Unpacked series – ‘Table Manners with Jessie Ware’ podcast and Amy Winehouse’s Frank.
Curious about: Discovering new cultures and finding out obscure and wonderful things I knew little about beforehand.
Personal Quirk: My very analytical and inquiring mind and my quirky sense of humour.
Alessandra Cianetti – Project Manager
Originally from: Italy
Background: Contemporary Art Theory and Economics and Management in Arts and Culture
Previous experience and projects: Independent art curator and creative producer. Founder of the curatorial research platform performingborders. Former co-director of the London-based arts organisation Something Human; projects include M.A.P (Movement x Archive x Performance) 3: ARCHIVING ‘ASIA’ and risk-taking, world-wide projects with international museums and cultural spaces.
What drives me: Connecting and knowing about people, cultures, stories, and ideas. An exciting element of my role at the Bagri Foundation.
Recommended read – watch – listen: Queer Asia: Decolonising and Reimagining Sexuality and Gender – MUBI.com – Asia-Art-Activism Radio Series ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’
Curious about: Artists’ personal and professional journeys and how we can push creative boundaries together.
Personal Quirk: An inexplicable passion for math jokes.
Halime Özdemir – Project Manager
Originally from: Made in Cyprus, raised in London.
Background: Fine Art, Drawing, producing for visual arts, film and music
Previous experience and projects: International arts producer. Worked on a wide range of multidisciplinary arts content, including projects for Elephant Magazine, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, Royal Academy of Arts, White Cube, Istanbul Biennial and more. Also active Head of Communications, for the UAL Alumni of Colour Association.
What drives me: Sharing ideas and collaborating to develop meaningful content. I am especially keen to offer opportunities to those in need; a true champion for the underdog, which works well in my role at the Foundation.
Recommended read – watch – listen: The Odyssey, by Homer, for poetry, Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters by Nikita Gill – In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, by Larissa Sansour – Podcast ‘DanDana’ on SOAS radio.
Curious about: Cross cultural discourse and common ground, found through music, visual arts and poetry.
Personal Quirk: I am ambidextrous and also play Guitar (classical and electric), as well as dabble with Oud, Bouzouki and Sazi.