About Carol Leeming

Poet Playwright Director Singer Songwriter Musician Composer Curator

The Celebrations Continue!!!…Carol Leeming MBE FRSA Made Alumna of the Month De Montfort University Leicester

Carol Leeming Photo Credit Nina Ali copy as

After the maelstrom of excitement, the delight for polymath Carol Leeming, being made MBE in the New Years Honours list 2019 . Carol Leeming is also made Alumna of the Month 2019 at De Montfort University Leicester. The last few years have seen Carol receive several of prestigous awards and accolades for her work in arts and culture. Carol herself plans to continue to pursue excellence, and importantly inspire other to achieve their best, regardless e.g. of their backgrounds.

A strong advocate for lifelong learning, equalities and for diversity to be at the core of excellence in 21st century arts an culture. Carol says” I did not have the best of starts in my life, there was definitely no linear plan.  I cherished a long held dream, then focused my keen curiosity, innate talents and gifts, to learning to excel. Equally important are the key people you encounter, who see something in you, crucially are willing to give you a chance, support and champion you on your journey. Finally, much is learnt from what doesn’t actually work, as well as what does work and is successful”. Read De Montfort University Article link below:

https://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2019/february/alumnus-of-the-month-keeps-the-relationship-alive-with-dmu-after-graduating-from-leicester-polytechnic.aspx

 

 

 

 

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Jubilation! Carol Leeming Made MBE Queen New Year Honors List 2019

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 ninetiesCarol 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/racismhad 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!

 

Carol Leeming FRSA Chair Symposium: Re-Imagining Fredrick Coles Bodleian Library Oxford University

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Carol Leeming FRSA at Bodleian Library Oxford University

Carol Leeming FRSA, during Black History Month 2018 , was appointed by Black Oxford  Untold Stories led by Pamela Roberts FRSA,  to be the Chair for a fascinating Symposium at Bodleian  Library on the Fredrick Cole of  Sierra Leone , the first ever Black Oxford Scholar in the 1900’s.

Pamela Roberts of Black Oxford Untold Stories,  firstly, outlined the paucity and inappropriateness of  images available,eg caricature of Fredrick Cole, ie. of such an important and significant Scholar, to have graduated at Oxford University.  A plaque of Fredrick Cole was unveiled in the previous year, opposite the Law Faculty at Oxford University, attend by Pamela Roberts and Oxford University dignitaries.  The Symposium panel consisted various academics, creative practitioners,  who referred to the negative images of Africa past and present, eg. racist caricature of Cole, Oxford University archive of publications of caricatures of the period, Fredrick Cole’s life at Oxford, Portraiture of Black Success, and making and erecting Statues. The event included a brief dramatic performance by two actors, who brought Fredrick Cole and a University rival to life, in a recorded argument they both had. There was also a lively discussion with attendees and many useful suggestions offered from the audience, as to the ways of moving forward, to best honor the legacy of Fredrick Cole in Oxford and beyond.

http://www.blackoxford.net/events

http://www.blackoxford.net

 

Double Whammy! Carol Leeming Special Guest Speeches: For Leicester Everybodys’ Reading Festival 2018 & Leicester Black History Month Launch 2018

Carol Leeming had a busy night of it, giving speeches firstly, alongside Leicester Author and Patron Bali Rai of the Leicesters’ Everybodys Reading  Festival at the Central library.  With Carol then going on afterwards to give a speech and poem, for the  launch of Serendipitys’ Black History Month Launch at 2 Queens which featured a performance by Zimbabwean artist Nora Chipuire now based in NYC.

http://www.everybodysreading.co.uk

https://serendipity-uk.com/black-history-month-leicester/

 

Carol Leeming FRSA Commissioned Poetry for East Midlands Women Awards Ceremony Leicester

 

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Carol Leeming  FRSA was commissioned to write and perform poetry, for the East Midlands Women Awards Event 2018, by Sandra Pollock founder, of the prestigious  East Midlands Women’s Event. Carol was a winner of the Outstanding Women in Arts Music & Media  Award, sponsored by Dluxe magazine in 2017. So Carol was thrilled to take part in the event, in its second year  with a notable increase in interest and attendance across the East Midlands region. The event celebrates the wonderful achievements of Women, from all backgrounds and walks of life, from business, arts culture, academia and the voluntary sector.

Carol wrote and performed her poem Against All Odds a concrete poem, that on the page mirrors the hard won steps, women make to achieve their dreams and ambitions in life. The poem was received most warmly. with Carol receiving numerous compliments thereafter. Attendees are encouraged to nominate women  now from across the region and to look forward, with some keen anticipation to next years event.

Carol Leeming Appointed Dialect Coach For Memoirs of Asian Football Casual Production Curve Theatre

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In September Carol Leeming FRSA, was appointed by Nikolai Foster at Curve for the production of Memoirs  of An Asian Football Coach a play written by Douglas Irvine adapted from the memoir of Riza Khan, now a reformed member of the notorious Baby Squad Gang , Riaz is  now a De Montfort University Lecturer in Leicester.

Carol’s role was to support the two leading actors, to deliver credible Leicester accents. Utilizing her skills as an actor herself and vocal coach, but also a full knowledge and understanding of the very unique Leicester dialect. Carol found the actors, enthusiastic and quick to learn, they absorbed much of what Carol was able to offer them. Carol found the whole process fun and enjoyable. The whole production was a resounding success, with rave reviews from audience members, many from first timers to the theatre and press alike.   Carol’s successful work was affirmed when some of the ex members of the Baby Squad who came to see the show, vouched for the authenticity of the accents. Carol’s contribution was notable highlighted  in a favourable  review article of the show in the Leicester Mercury.

 

 

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Music Director 2 Funky Project Live 2018

Carol Leeming FRSA lead artist with Dare to Diva is delighted to be re appointed as Music Director for 2 Funky Arts Project Live Leicester, led by Vijay Mistry , it is a project working with cohort of of mid career Urban music artists, and two professional session music bands. Carol will mentor and develop the artists to take them to the next level with their music and performance.  The artists will also access Master Classes from music industry professionals in Intellectual Copyright, Business Development, Songwriting and Performance skills. Carol work with the artists and bands, to produce a live showcase of the artists, for Music industry professionals to attend, and record and produce at HQ Studios Leicester,  a Group compilation album of the artists, for promotional purposes only.