About

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Carol MBE FRSA is an acknowledged polymath, a multi-ward wining multi-disciplinary artist, and visionary inspirational Cultural Leader, committed to Culturally Diverse Arts & Equalities, some of her roles have included: poet playwright, writer/director/performer singer/songwriter, music director/composer, performer, curator exhibitions & festivals, as well as vocal & performance coach, workshop leader and tutor, East Midlands theatre Learning Adviser for Next Stage for Arts Council England, General Council Member Arts Council England, Board Member Demon FM Media De Montfort University, arts mentor & reviewer, vocal & dialect coach & performance  skills tutor Music Academies and Music Education Consultant.

As  Artistic Director and lead artist of Dare Diva company, an Equity Member, former Resident Assistant Director at Curve theatre Leicester.  Carol consolidated her national and international profile and was awarded by the Queen an MBE as poet and playwright  in 2019. Previously was made an elected FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts)  , in the wake of her cutting edge  multi-disciplinary art  production The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva a Choreopoem that included poetic text, music, physical theatre digital mediafor Britains’s successful 2012 Cultural Olympiad. This  exciting innovative work played to packed diverse audiences, for several nights at Curve theatre and set a benchmark for shows in the East Midlands region, nationally and internationally. See the Carols production blog here http://carolleeming.blogspot.co.uk

Carol the founder Dare to Diva,  was established over a decade ago, based in Leicester.  As Artistic Director and as a multidisciplinary artist, Carol works individually or with specially recruited culturally diverse arts creative teams, or partners, to collaborate on successful diverse arts, commissions and projects including heritage projects.

This is includes delivering  arts, and arts cultural development and training programs for artists,  for a range of clients e.g. BBC Radio Leicester, Leicester City Council and Artreach, Common Word. These include an iconic range of excellent culturally diverse events and activities, e.g. exhibitions, festivals, performing arts shows, seminars and digital productions.

Carol and the company create excellent, innovative and culturally diverse performing arts, literature and digital media. Carol and the company have a successful track record, of high quality work, which has been broadcast, published or presented as live work to appreciative audiences and peers alike – e.g. plays and poetry, choreopoetry music and digital media.

Carola as arts freelancer, is the recipient of a number of awards, for her contribution to arts & culture locally, regionally , nationally along with an  international profile. Further notable achievements  include, being a successful singer/songwriter (e.g a song featured on the Trainspotting film soundtrack), with major record labels and publisher, with international hit records , shortlisted for the Imsion/Tinniswood (given to first time  writer of radio drama broadcast) award for her BBC radio drama ‘Reality Check‘ Society of Authors/Writers Guild.

Carol is multi-award winning writer, she has received several awards from the prestigious, Leicester Writers Club, the Siobhan Logan Writing for Listeners for her choreopoem Love the Life you Live Live the life You Love  read to a live audience 2014 and the Margaret Penfold Award for Media for a film poem Enchanter 2016 . Along with being  nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award, for her contribution to the arts & entertainment, by the Leicester African Caribbean Citizens Forum and Leicester City Council in Leicester, after previously being given a Black Achievers Award by Leicester African Caribbean community in 2001.

For for further information and/or enquiries contact carolleeming@gmail.com

Some Testimonials & Accolades..

Carol Leeming was employed as a consultant for Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub (LMEH) from April-May 2019. The aim of her work was to improve awareness of LMEH, and identify, make new contacts with BAME and culturally diverse individuals, groups, organisations, for further partnership/collaboration, and board membership. Her extensive research led to the organisation of one-to-one meetings and a consultation meeting on May 22nd 2019 at Hansom Hall, Belvoir Street, Leicester. Carol has also produced a written report entitled ‘Leicester-Shire Cultural Diversity Music Education Consultation’ and has presented this report the the Exec and LSMS staff.

Carol’s energy and enthusiasm really helped to get this piece of work off the ground, her clear communication and clarity of intention has made a significant positive impact on our relationships with Leicester City and we now have a network of potential partners / board members. We will to continue to develop these relationships and increase our engagement with city based young people, parents, and culturally diverse individuals and groups.

Carol’s work has been highly engaging, relevant and has enabled us to widen our network and have a more inclusive and diverse offer as part of LMEH.
Sharon Bray
Head of Service
Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva: ‘devolved British writing and performance at its best, a brave piece of theatre making, ambitious and rewarding experience in the theatre.’ 

Dr. Corinne Fowler Director  for the Centre for New Writing Leicester University

‘Carol Leeming has guest programmed slots on our Inside Out festival foyer stage for the two years. The festival is a vibrant celebration of local home-grown talent, and Carol’s contribution to this programme is always of the highest quality and her enthusiasm for developing and supporting artists makes her a joy to work with’Suba Das, Associate Director & Maddie Smart, Artist Development Coordinator, Curve Theatre Leicester

‘Carol has much to offer the cultural and creative sector in many different ways, drawing on her creative talents, passionate commitment to culture, and arts development skills.  ArtReach has had the opportunity to work with and to contract Carol Leeming for creative input on a number of occasions over the last ten years.  Carol has provided excellent contacts, networking and promotional support for a range of ArtReach led projects and initiatives, especially focusing on culturally diverse arts delivery and innovative programmes of arts and cultural events.  ArtReach has also drawn on Carol’s skills as a creative facilitator to chair and lead discussion events and forums, effectively drawing in and supporting guest speakers and audiences/participants’. David Hill Artreach Director

Carol as Music Director has worked amazingly with artists and musicians to help create new work, most recently as part of 2Funky Arts’ Project LIVE. She was knowledgeable and very experienced. We had excellent feedback from musicians and artists and she contributed her own ideas and a unique approach. Having worked with her on various projects over many years, this was by far the biggest and we knew she would meet all her targets with great professionalism. Vijay Mistry Director 2Funky Arts Leicester

‘Carol is clearly developing a strong voice and artistic presence’ Lucy Compton – Reid Director Apples & Snakes London

Carol has been immensely helpful in developing my singing technique.  As a professional full time singer, Carol helped me to develop solid technique, how to protect my voice and has even increased my singing range!  I don’t know how I would have survived as a professional singer without her help and guidance. David Wright-Lead singer The Jukebox Jets

I undertook the vocal empowerment course designed by Carol and I have noticed great improvement in my technique and confidence.Carol has given me tools that have had a considerable impact on my singing knowledge. Now, I feel more in control and I can take care of my voice more efficiently thanks to advice tailored for my range. Carol is absolutely lovely to be with; she’s full of positive energy and is very inspirational. 
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Janice Raw former singer of the Pale Faces Band

I thoroughly enjoyed being taught by Carol. She combines formal exercises and theory with a background in performing in a wide range of styles.I started singing lessons never believing I’d feel confident enough to sing solo a few months later.  Working with Carol boosted my confidence, and the Sheehans Academy concert provided a friendly, supportive environment for my first solo performance in over three Steven Hayles

‘Carol Leeming organised a regional heat for the Superheroes of Slam in Leicester in 2015. This was one of 9 heats and had a higher turn-out in terms of both participants and audience than the other heats. She effectively planned and managed this event and made it a success.  We will definitely be working with her again in the future’Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi, New Writing Co-ordinator, Commonword  Manchester

Carol Leeming is charismatic, charming and talented artist, whose gift for poetry and whose soulful vocal prowess leave you intoxicated and lingering for another dose.  Her unapologetic nature and playful deconstruction of the English language make her a unique wordsmith.  Her flare for fashion and dance add all the more appeal to her dramatic stage presence.

Carol has recited at Big Session Folk Festival’s inaugural poetry hour – BEATROOT, sharing the stage with Zena Edwards and Jean Binta Breeze to critical praise and applause.  

Carol Leeming is always looking to discover and rediscover the moments of performance that leave the audience thrilled with experiences that they will never want to forget.  This passion, this search to always connect and captivate her listeners is what marks Carol Leeming as an artist who can entertain and elevate on both the national and international stage. Rakesh Parmar:  Creative Producer at Bluemonsoon Publishing & Non Executive Director at Writing East Midlands.

 Stimulating and inspiring Spoken Word poetry workshop as part of the DMU Local initiative at The Y Theatre.   The session was extremely professional, well planned and enabled all participants to follow the process of understanding how to develop their creative ideas and produce spoken word poetry. Your approach was supportive and encouraging at all times. Though the majority of the participants were novices you managed to provide them with that all important self-belief which meant they were all were able to produce excellent writing which they shared with enthusiasm.

The standard of work they produced was a testament to your ability to break down the creative elements into areas such as turning the abstract into the concrete, use of metaphor and hyperbole and consideration of rhythm. The participants were all highly stimulated by their experience and overall the session fully met expectations. I fully recommend your workshop and look forward to the university working with you again in the near future. Tony Graves Head of Subject, Arts and Festivals Management De Montfort UniversityLeicester

I have known Carol for over seven years professionally, both in an advisory role and as a performer.
Carol is extremely knowledgeable in her field and is very well connected, she is passionate about the arts and has a supportive nature when it comes to artists and their ambitions. Proactive and strong communication skills are just a few of her versatile skills. Carol is a highly professional performer who has an exceptional talent that is evident in a variety of art forms, she puts her all into everything that she does. 
 Amanda Leandro  Director, Kaleidoscope Arts & Leicester Cosmopolitan Festival

‘I recommend her as a true champion and THE source of information and astute knowledge of the BME sector in the East Midlands and UK.’ Louise Katerega Dancer Choreographer & Director Foot In Hand Integrated Dance Company Leicester

Press & Other quotes

Authentic DivaMusic Week Magazine

One of the UK’s finest vocal talents – Musically promiscuous” – Mix Mag Magazine

‘Power, grace, passion and downright funky the real ting’ Its always been a pleasure to work with Sister Carol, as a vocalist, she is one of the countrys’ hidden treasures’   Gary Crosby Artistic Director OBE Dune Music

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