Queens of Heritage
Anita Frost is a multi-award-winning author, entrepreneur and the founder of Green Bean Studios®. She has an extensive professional background in both child development and business industries. Anita, along with a talented team of professionals, has come together to create precious moments for children and families through a fun, educational range of books, toys, games, music, and TV productions!
Dorretta Maynard is a Poet, Model, Actress, Host, and Runway Model Coach. Her unwavering commitment centers on community service and the advocacy of wellness, health, positivity, and kindness. She's a fervent proponent of seizing opportunities, embracing personal growth, and perpetually refining her skills to navigate the ever-evolving world. Time is her ally, and she thrives on making the most of the present while remaining attuned to the changing times. In 2023, she took the stage as the esteemed host of the Afro Fashion Show UK and is eagerly anticipated in her upcoming role in the play "Romeo and Juliet" at the Exchange Theatre in November, enhancing her distinguished career.
Dawn Walters is a creative organiser, curator and book artist. She has worked for many years in the not-for-profit sector and for arts organisations, running events, managing change and helping to shape and implement future strategy. She is currently Chair of Hot Bed Press and member of People’s Forum and Factory Assembly co-curating The Welcome at Aviva Studios.
A prodigious student of fashion, Sidnie Pantry has seamlessly woven her narrative into Black British heritage. An illustrious alumna of Salford with a Masters from MMU, she exemplifies the blend of academic excellence and creative brilliance. Famed for her unique style, Sidnie melds British tailoring with vibrant African couture, resulting in creations that radiate multicultural elegance. Her brand, Sidnie Co Couture, offers Limited Edition pieces, each a testament to her harmonious amalgamation of traditions. Sidnie’s extensive repertoire includes bespoke garments and designs for film and theatre, featuring in exhibitions at the Manchester Art Gallery and the Manchester International Festival, dressing celebrities like '90s R&B Group 'Cleopatra' and Misha B. Beyond fashion, Sidnie is a compassionate leader, offering therapeutic sewing classes at the Support for Progress West Indian Centre, combining dressmaking with counselling to nurture mental well-being. Sidnie's approach to design, community commitment, and collaborations mark her as an inspirational figure. Her elegance and vibrancy are uniquely encapsulated in each creation, unveiling the profound elegance that is Sidnie Pantry of Sidnie Co Couture.
Venessa Scott, known as Vee is a prolific public artist from the North of England. Recognised widely for her contribution to the arts and cultural sector in the North, her vibrant and joyful pattern based murals can be seen on walls, buildings and floors across the UK. Venessa also designed and painted one of the UKs tallest murals, she is an ambassador of The Pankhurst Centre and has since been recognised as a ‘Great Manchunian; A person who has had a significant cultural and creative impact on the City of Manchester and its surrounding areas’. When she is not adding colour to the walls and windows of cities you can also find Venessa presenting art content for children on CBeebies or running the custodial education organisation SevenThreeOne which she founded with her sister in 2015.
Esther Lisk-Carew (she/her) is an arts and heritage professional with a keen interest in projects which intersect with communities, culture and stories. She is a cultural leader having worked across the country for 20 years in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester as a Cultural Mentor, Ops Manager, Consultant, Programmer, Project Producer, Panelist, Public Speaker, Volunteer Manager and more! Esther co-chairs the Heritage Volunteering Group North West Network sharing best practice and strategic policy building with Volunteer Managers in North West and in 2022 she joined the board of the Portico Library to continue supporting the heritage sector. She is also founder of a national network of cultural creatives from Black and Global Majority backgrounds, fostering working relationships, sharing opportunities and helping creatives develop their careers and connect with one another.
Sylvia Tella is a revered musician known for her remarkable versatility across various musical genres, including pop, rock, soul, R&B, garage, jazz, drum 'n base, afrobeats, and reggae, with a particular affinity for Lovers Rock. Her illustrious career has earned her the title of the "Majesty of Reggae." Sylvia's artistry can be easily accessed through Google, YouTube, Facebook, and her website, SylviaTella.com, where her extensive musical journey, collaborations, and vibrant fan engagement come to life. As a prolific songwriter, she eloquently addresses personal, intimate, and global experiences, delving into the highs, lows, and everything in between that resonate with communities worldwide.
Judith Hanley is an award-winning educator, hairstylist, and author, recognized as a prominent figure in the Hair and Beauty industry. As one of the top ten educators in the nation according to the Hairdressing Beauty Industry Authority, she has taken on the role of Vice Chair for the Expert Group overseeing the development of new National Occupational Standards and Qualifications, advocating for inclusivity across hair textures and skin tones. Judith's expertise extends to teaching as part of the Transfer Training Programme, a collaboration between Screenskills & MUA Ltd, addressing the growing demand in Film and Television for makeup artists skilled in working with actors of diverse melanin skin tones and textured hair.
Shirley May is a first-generation Black British Poet from the Jamaican diaspora who intertwines her heritage into the vibrant tapestry of Manchester. As a Royal Society of Literature member and a Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, she crafts evocative verses and dedicates herself to mentoring the city's youth, inspiring them to find their voices through poetry. Shirley is one of the best known and loved performers on the Manchester poetry scene and has performed at many well-known venues in the UK and internationally, including appearances at the Nuyorican Cafe in New York and the Calabash writing festival in Jamaica. She is also director of 'Young Identity' - a writing collective which works with 13–25s in the Manchester area. Shirley has received an honorary fellowship from the Royal Society of Literature for her support work for young writers.