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.

Chelsea Pettitt - Director

  • Joined: Director from February 2024. Head of Arts from 2018 - 2021
  • Originally from: California.
  • Background: Visual Anthropology and Fashion Design.
  • Previous experience and projects: Previously at the National Trust, Bagri Foundation, Hayward Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre and formative years teaching English in Beijing. Projects curated include the Chartwell Literature Festival, Fungi Festival at Emmetts Garden, Chang/ce, The Bottom Drawer, Object, Story, Wonder: Museums Collections Revealed and A House in the Sky plus solo exhibitions by Kim Beom, William Kentridge and Yu-Chen Wang. Also research grants from Art Fund and European Cultural Foundation to Holland, Taiwan and Turkey.
  • What drives me: Sharing lesser heard stories that help build empathy between cultures and discovering exciting, new creative talent. Luckily, my role at the Bagri Foundation epitomises these!
  • Recommended read – watch - listen: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee - The Handmaiden by Park Chan-Wook -- The latest PJ Harvey album I Inside the Old Year Dying
  • Curious about: East Asian art, film and culture, but also how we, as a society, can make diverse cultures and experiences less abstract to those outside of them.
  • Personal Quirk: My obsession with buying colourful vintage dresses and my penchant for homegrown vegetables. Courgette anyone?

Ioanna Nitsou - Head of Grants and Partnerships

  • Originally from: Bucharest, with a Greek twist
  • Background: Arts, printmaking, and cultural studies
  • Other experiences: For over a decade, I've been immersed in the world of contemporary arts as a fundraiser, dedicated to building connections and facilitating the realization of artists' ideas within the vibrant landscape of London's art scene.
  • What drives me: Learning and growth fuel my belief in the power of cultural discourse. Nurtured artistic expressivity can become a beacon, inspiring others towards something new. Creativity is one of humankind's greatest assets and the stepping stone for innovation and progress.
  • Recommended read – watch – listen: Read: “Texture Notes” by Sawako Nakayasu, Watch: “Hit the road” by Panah Panahi, Listen: “Vulture Price” by Arrow Aftab
  • Curious About: Human behaviour and inspiring forms of storytelling
  • Personal Quirk: Continuously excited by cultural narratives channelled by food.

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.
  • Recommended 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.

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