Indu Sharma
Chairperson and Founding Member

Indu has always had a keen interest in dance and music. Born in India , she grew up arraigning dance and drama programmes with kids in the neighbourhood. She comes from a family with keen interest in music, drama and dance and has won music and drama competitions at University level in India.

Indu came to the UK after marriage and inevitably got busy with raising her two sons and demanding career at BT.

After retiring from a long and successful career at senior management in BT, she set up her own consultancy in advertising blue chip companies in how to get value for money from advertising budgets.

In 1999, she decided to give up work and learn Hindustani classical music but as there was no provision in Swindon or in Wiltshire , she had to travel to the Bhavan in London.

Travelling to London was time consuming and expensive so she thought of starting the classes locally and was successful in getting grants from the local borough council and the Community Foundation of Swindon and Wiltshire. SAPAC could , then, offer classes locally in Hindustani Vocal and Tabla arranging teachers from the Bhavan to travel to Swindon.

Indu has worked tirelessly with other founding members , Chan Chitroda and Ram Thiagarajah to grow and keep SAPAC alive in the face of many social and financial challenges.

Applying for grants from the ACE to host events added another dimension to SAPAC’s offerings. Currently , SAPAC hosts events in diverse dance and music and supports independent teachers running Indian classical and modern dance and music.

The partnership approach has served SAPAC well over the years. These include local dance and creative organisations like Swindon Dance , Create and independent dance schools as well as local media eg BBC Wiltshire Radio, Swindon Community Radio and Swindon Advertiser, SAPAC is now well recognised as a diverse art organisation.

Indu’s current passion is to grow SAPAC in to a well recognised diverse art organisation beyond Swindon and Wiltshire.

Chan Chitroda
Founding Member
Chan is one of the three founding members of SAPAC and has tirelessly worked to make the organisation successful. 
 
Chan is skilled at project and programme management in his professional career in many telecommunications companies.
 
He has always been interested in voluntary work; Over the past 30 years, he has been giving his time to various local associations as a chairperson, secretary and treasurer. All his life he has served the community without any desire for personal gratification. 
 
He has been a key worker / organiser of community events first, in his home town Birmingham and then in Swindon for the past 4 decades. 
 
His tireless and sincere efforts in helping others are well recognised and respected by all he has ever worked with. He has been a lynch pin in developing SAPAC to its present role as a diverse art organisation in Swindon and surrounding areas. He is passionate about serving the community and commands high respect from people who he works with.
Dr Shivani Sharma
Deputy Chair

As a British Asian, dance and music has always featured in Shivani's connection with Indian cultural heritage. In her mid 20’s, quite by chance, she began learning Kathak dance and has pursed this passion alongside her career. It’s only through engaging with a classical art form that she began to fully appreciate performing arts and what they have to offer for physical as well as psychological well-being. To share the power of arts, Shivani has been teaching and performing Kathak in Swindon for the last 5 years. She has completed a number of ISTD dance examinations and continues to work towards higher grades.

Shivani joined SAPAC in 2016, initially taking a strategic lead in sourcing funding for all activities. Working with the team, Shivani has so far helped secure circa 50K in awards. Shivani has recently expanded her role to take on the position of Deputy Chair. She hopes to use her background in senior leadership to further SAPAC's reach and impact in the community. Shivani currently works at the University of Hertfordshire where she acts as the Head of Psychology Division and Executive Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity in the School of Life and Medical Sciences. In these positions, Shivani has learnt a lot about outreach, collaboration and driving change, which she hopes will benefit SAPAC as it charts a course for a bigger and even more creative future!

Marie McCluskie
Patron

Marie was born and grew up in London. She started dancing in the Watford area, followed by professional training at Arts Educational School (London) and London Contemporary Dance School.

She then moved to Swindon when her husband's job relocated to the town in the late 60's and initially set up her own dance school in the Park North & Nythe area.

In the late 70's Marie became involved in the emerging TCA (Thamesdown Community Arts) project, which led to the establishment in 1979 of Swindon Dance based in the Old Town Hall. Since then until her retirement in 2016, Swindon Dance, under her leadership as Artistic Director, has become recognised as one of England's leading National Dance Centres.

Marie has always had a passion for dance from diverse cultures and over the years has programmed Community and school projects. Over the years she has introduced Swindon to many dance artists and companies from the Asian Diaspora; these include the Akram Khan dance Company and Shobana Jeyasingh at the Wyvern Theatre. Also Sonia Sabri, Seeta Patel, Aakash Odedra and Vidya Thirunaryan at Swindon Dance. In recent years Marie has been delighted to get to know and develop an ongoing partnership with SAPAC. She looks forward to collaborating on many more exciting projects moving forward.

Nicky Alberry
Patron

Nicky started her career with HSBC and came to Swindon in 1991 on secondment to Great Western Enterprise for 1 year. Almost 30 years later she is still involved with the company, now called Business West as a non-executive Director.

Nicky is Chair of Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service and is a founding member of the Swindon Cares Fund Raising Appeal. She is non-executive Director at Business West, an active in the Rotary Club of Swindon and a Deputy Lieutenant for Wiltshire and in 2018/19 was High Sheriff of Wiltshire.

She is married to Pete, has 2 step daughters, and is Nanny Nick to 2 gorgeous grandsons.

Sonny Hamid
Board Member

Sonny's career is broad, attaining the position of Vice President of the Kvaerner Group p.l.c., lecturing at Brunel and London South Bank Universities, and was appointed as Her Majesty’s Government Commissioner to the H. & S. C. taking a Confederation of British Industry Brief.

During retirement, Sonny has contributed towards several Community Organisations including serving on the Swindon Mela Organising Committee for over ten years. During the later three years of his term he served as its Chairman. In March 2016, Sonny, as part of the Swindon Mela Team, was one of the honoured recipients of the Pride of Swindon Award.

Jon Sterckx
Board Member and Percussionist

Jon Sterckx is an innovative percussionist with 30+ years’ experience of playing world percussion. Jon plays a range of percussion instruments and has worked across a wide range of musical styles, including Indian classical music, contemporary experimental styles, theatre & dance collaborations, and his solo multi-percussion performances, Drumscapes, which he has performed twice at the globally renowned TED events.

Jon is also an experienced educator with 20+ years of experience including holding the position of Associate Lecturer at the University of Plymouth 2003-2017 where he taught modules in World Rhythm, Indian Music and Ethnomusicology.

Jon joined SAPAC as a tabla tutor in 2016 and has been delivering tabla classes in Swindon ever since.

For more info about Jon's work, music and videos visit: www.jonsterckx.co.uk

Mark Powell
Board Member

Mark Powell is Artistic Director of Swindon’s Prime Theatre, making both professional and youth theatre productions for, by and with children and young people.

Mark is the Vice Chair for Theatre for Young Audiences: UK and a recent member of the Arts Council’s South West Board. He is Chair of Governors at Drove Primary, Swindon’s largest and most multi-cultural school. He is a theatre writer and director.

Junab Ali
Board Member

Junab was born in Bangladesh and moved to the U.K at the age of 4. Since then he has lived in the Wiltshire and Swindon area with his wife and children. Junab is an entrepreneur, running his own business since the age of 18. Alongside this he has been a Councillor on the Swindon Bourough Parish Council for the past 12 years and served as Mayor of Swindon from 2018 to 2019. Junab is the Vice-Chair of the Wiltshire Police Crime Panel and Trustee for the Wiltshire Community Foundation. The importance of education has always been important to Junab, so much so that he founded and help setup the “Bangladesh Female Academy,” a school for girls who otherwise wouldn't receive an education.

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