Dr Ranjit Khutan
Dr Ranjit Khutan is a playwright, screenwriter and author, and has had work performed on stage and screen since 1998; he is also Head of Department for Public Health at the University of Wolverhampton and has been able to align his interests in the arts with his Public Health background.
His academic research has focused on the use and effectiveness of the arts in public health practice, specifically examining how applied theatre practitioners can evaluate and articulate the health outcomes of their work in prisons. He continues to examine how the impact of the arts can be evidenced, measured and articulated across disciplines, and has developed a model for evaluating arts and health initiatives that he shares through academic papers and at conferences. As a writer he is interested in examining issues that marginalised/socially excluded communities face (e.g. LGBT and BAME), and how the arts can encourage social change.
In his role as Ambassador for the Grand Theatre he aims to support work that engages Black and Minority Ethnic young people with the theatre and encourage the use of the theatre to maintain people’s health & wellbeing.
He has worked as a theatre reviewer and as an arts consultant/evaluator; assisting arts organisations in their development, engagement and evaluation plans. He also assists the Royal Shakespeare Company as an audience development ambassador.
Jaivant Patel is an award winning independent dance artist, cultural producer, choreographer and creative consultant based in Wolverhampton. He is artistic director of Jaivant Patel Dance.
Jaivant Patel Dance makes work that ‘challenges the complexities of inherited notions, perceptions and stereotypes surrounding British-Asian identity.’
South Asian dance forms, aesthetics and principles inform and influence the creation of contemporary work targeted at diverse audiences.
Jaivant Patel is the first announced Associate Artist of Arena Theatre, Associate Artist at Midlands Arts Centre and a member of the board of directors for Dance4.
He is a former Independent Artistic & Quality Assessor for Arts Council England and member of One Dance UK.
Jaivant Patel is also artistic director of Jai Jash Dance, a non-profit voluntary organisation under the umbrella of Jaivant Patel Dance.
- 2019 & 2018 National Diversity Awards Nominee – Positive Role Model in LGBT Category.
- Named on India Gazette London’s 2018 ‘High & Mighty’ Powerlist of individuals ‘you should know’ in the UK-India Corridor.
- Jai Jashn Dance being a 2017 recipient of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award For Voluntary Service.
- Selected by One Dance UK for Dancer’s Mentoring & Choreographers Observerships Programmes(2015/16), in being recognised and identified as a future leader in the arts.
Peter Chand is an award-winning international Storyteller, constantly in demand for his unique retelling of tales from his motherland, India.
Born and bred in Wolverhampton, he has shared his stories across Britain and has also performed in Norway, France, Croatia, Austria, Canada, and Singapore, amongst other countries.
He is honoured to be one of the Ambassadors for Community Engagement for the Grand Theatre, as he firmly believes in the intrinsic value of art being able to unite people. Regardless of people’s backgrounds or ethnic origins, he believes art has the potential to enrich us all.
Peter is also part of the organising team of Festival at the Edge; the oldest storytelling festival in England, which has a fine reputation for showcasing some of the best storytellers from around the world.
He is currently Storyteller in Residence at The Story Museum in Oxford and has been made one of the 100 Masters (by Creative Black Country) for his storytelling services in helping to bring cultures together through his stories.
“Peter transports the listener into his world with remarkable energy and great expression… I was spellbound” Kim Normanton Producer BBC Radio Four
Pushpa Alexander, has lived and worked in the Black Country for most of her life and has a keen interest in the arts and theatre. A mom of 3, she is the founder of Headz Up Business, an award-winning event organisor with a proven record of hosting successful events on digital, social media marketing and women in business events.
Pushpa Alexander, has a strong sales and marketing background, with over 25yrs experience within the Exhibition industry with B2C & B2B Trade Shows. Over the years Pushpa Alexander through her company Headz Up Business has brought together a line-up of some of the most respected experts Internationally and within the UK in digital, social media, marketing to create memorable events which provide result driven practical support for entrepreneurs and business owners.
Pushpa in addition to the coveted role as Ambassador for Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, she is currently the Ambassador for The Birmingham Awards and the Midland Food & Drinks Awards.
Jay Singh was born into a Indian migrant family in the late 1960`s in Wolverhampton. He has always been a leader & trail blazer from being the first Head Boy at his Inner City Comprehensive School from an Indian background, to being President of the Asian Society at University. Then went on to train as an Accountant in London. Here he was part of the team that organised Cultural Events during the whole year. He has always been keen on the Arts & Culture from South Asia. While serving in the Territorial Army, went on to gain his Commission from the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Where Prince William & Harry graduated) and headed up a successful National press campaign to recruit more South Asians into the Army. Now he is a supporter of local events in Wolverhampton with his strong business contacts, all rooted in Wolverhampton.
Ram Singh MSc, IDPM(Cambs) FCMI MIET MAPM BSc(Hons)
Executive | Project Professional | Ambassador | Speaker | Mentor & Coach
Ram has a Master’s Degree in Engineering, MoP ®, MSP ®, PRINCE2 ® & PTLLS. His first degree was in Mathematics. He also has a certified International Post Graduate Diploma (IDPM) in Project Management from Cambridge University.
At University he organised several cultural events including world famous Indian bands Alaap, Heera and Gurdas Maan among others.
As an ‘Enterprise Advisor’ for the Khalsa Academy he also supports the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community.
Being a ‘STEM’ Ambassador helps him to encourage the younger generation to make a difference in Wolverhampton. This in turn introduces them to local Arts & Cultural Events.
I have been a Drama Ambassador for The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton for many years developing their drama audiences within the local communities, this role has enabled me to introduce new audiences to The Grand Theatre . The enthusiasm working with these audiences has inspired me to continue this journey to achieve more with the Grand Theatre and reaching out to the wider audience.
Neena Puri BA(Hons) Business Studies FCIPD
Neena Puri is a mom of 2 with 23 years retail experience in the capacity as a HR Manager with Waitrose. Her role includes Diversity & Inclusion and strengthening links within the community. As an Ambassador for the Grand Theatre she has been able to encourage more members of the community and partners within the business to enrich their lives and try out the arts.
Having worked as a Community Governor for a Local School it has highlighted the importance to increase awareness and invest in Arts and Culture from an early stage. Volunteering at Adventist Church has given her the opportunity to engage with the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups to encourage representation and wider community participation, resulting in building long term relationships with the Grand.