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. 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: 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. 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 honorary rector and visiting professor at Cass Business School. Non-executive Director of the Hong Kong Exchange and former Chairman of the Royal Parks. Passionate about education and maintain an interest in arts and environmental projects in the UK and abroad.
What drives me: Travelling and seeing the world. 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: 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.
Juan de Lara - Head of Arts
Originally from: Spain and Germany.
Background: Business Management in Culture and Heritage (MA Digital Technology, MA History of Art and Architecture in Middle East, PhD Archaeology).
Previous experience and projects: Cultural Manager at Asia House, Consultant for Barker Langham Ltd., Operations Manager and Head of Development at Parasol Unit, Project Manager for the Pavilion of Humanity at the 57th International Art Exhibition | La Biennale di Venezia. Member of the Board of Trustees at Global Learning London.
What drives me: Social responsibility, education, and challenging cultural misconceptions.
Recommended read – watch – listen: The music of Dhafer Youssef. A must-watch is Bab’Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul, directed by Nacer Khemir. I could never choose just one book, but I am definitely partial to The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Curious about: anything that can be learned and shared in order to propel change.
Personal Quirk: I love traveling, I truly believe in the Chinese proverb “one learns more from traveling a thousand miles than from reading a thousand scrolls.”
Alessandra Cianetti – Curator and 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.
Emma Townsend – Freelance Digital Content and Social Media Manager
Originally from: Born and raised Londoner
Background: Media and Communications, Comparative Cultural Analysis
Other experiences: Marketing Manager at Border Crossings, working on events taking place across London’s most significant cultural institutions – most recently with a celebration of the Indigenous Arctic Magnetic North at the British Museum and ORIGINS Festival. Before that I worked with a range of small and mid scale arts organisations including East London’s home to live performance: Hoxton Hall, the largest 24 hour contemporary art festival in the UK: Art Night and with Arts Canteen on their Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival.
What drives me: As an arts marketer it’s the knowledge that before someone even considers buying a ticket for a performance, exhibition or art event, they will encounter a piece of the marketing puzzle. I like being part of that journey and thinking of creative ways to translate the artist’s vision, the goals of an organisation and ultimately my own excitement for a project.
Recommend read watch listen: Watch: Something Useful (2017) Pelin Esmer, Listen: Any radiolab podcast, Read: Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns.
Curious About: Cultural traditions from around the world, particularly food and the rituals surrounding it.
Personal Quirk: I always have room for coffee and cake.