Carol Leeming, is thrilled and over the moon, to receive a MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors List for 2019 for her contribution to arts and culture in Leicester as poet and playwright. This life changing momentous event, crowns a successful run of successful acknowledgement and recognition for Carol and her work recently over the last few years. After experiencing initially world wide success in Dance music as singer/songwriter, performer in the nineties, cumulating with a co- written song, in the mega successful world hit British film Trainspotting. At the end of the nineties, Carol ceased her globe trotting, returned to Leicester due to family reasons, and busily set to work on two fronts, developing new talents for herself, as a poet and playwright, along with using her previous experience in the creative industries, at the highest level of the music industry, to be a mentor for early career and emerging African Caribbean and other BAME artists in Leicester.
Carol soon recognized it was also important to be a champion and advocate, for the under represented artists and creatives from BAME communities, firstly within Leicester then later across the East Midlands. This strand of work was about creating platforms i.e. events to showcase the talents of the artists/creatives she was working with. This started at Haymarket theatre, BBC Music Live Leicester Event, later Leicester Black History Season Events, e.g. Dare to Diva branded events with partners, e.g. Nubian Star Lounge, African Family Days and Style Up Event. Subsequently as regional Creative Manager at Mainstream Partnership, this lead to regional showcases in Performing and Visual Arts for BAME artists and creatives. Carol created further regional events which included , Creative Artist Salons, involving artists, programmers, artistic directors, curators and directors, e.g. in the wake of the McMasters Report, discussing what is excellence in the arts in 21st century Britain.
After continuing to develop as a creative writer, this led to a BBC Radio 4 Stages of Sound commission and radio broadcast, which was shortlisted for the Imison/Tinniwood Award (Authors Society/Writers Guild). A further pivotal point was Carol’s participation, in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad – the national and international profiled programme of arts that accompanied the Olympics in Britain that year. Carol’s contribution of a ground breaking choreopoem (text music physical theatre& still &moving images) titled The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva produced directed and performed by her (with themes of music industry exploitation/celebrification) had its world premier at Curve theatre in 2012 – it thrilled audiences for several nights. Carol was then elected to be a Fellow of the Royal Society For The Arts. Eventually Carol’s poetry gained further attention, was published in several poetry anthologies, including one by the prestigious Bloodaxe poetry publisher. Hailed as a chorepoet , her writing is referenced by Dr Corinne Fowler, Associate Professor, Post Colonial Literature, Director of the Centre for New Writing, University of Leicester, in the Cambridge Companion to British Black & Asian Literature(1945-2010) Cambridge University Press Ed. Deidre Osborne More creative writing commissions followed, along with literary festival appearances also. Carol’s Debut chapbook The Declamations of Cool Eye has sold out to be reprinted as well a new poetry collection is in preparation.
Further theatre work as playwright, was a short play titled VEX (theme NGO corruption/Indigenous People& Land) e.g Brighton Dome theatre production as part of Angry Women Show. Roles as Director and Dramaturge for the play A Scholar & A Statesman by Pamela Roberts. Carol over the years has received a number of awards for her creative writing and arts work e.g. from Leicester Writers Club, 2017 East Midlands Outstanding Woman in Arts Media & Music . A second choreopoem written produced and directed, by Carol titled Love the Life you..Live the Life You Love (themes gender /identity/racism) had a successful preview production at Curve theatre 2018. Along with work as a Dialect Coach for Curve’s production, the highly praised Memoirs of An Asian Football Casual, directed by Nikloai Foster adapted by Douglas Irvine from Leicester’s Riz Khan’s Memoir. Carol has co- written with Su Andi & Dorothea Smartt an article, titled Women Black Arts Brixton in the 1980’s: A Conversation for Contemporary Women Writing Oxford University Press, arts & culture articles for lifestyle magazines, and is regularly invited, as arts & culture commentator by BBC Radio Leicester, Cultural Exchanges De Montfort University. Carol has served on the Boards of Arts Council England East Midlands and Demon FM Radio De Montfort University. Carol is looking forward to more exciting arts creative projects, with such an incredible start to 2019!