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Bradford Cultural Voice Forum

Co-Chair Freelancers Vote

Bradford Cultural Voice Forum is recruiting a new Co-Chair who will help to oversee the district's cultural network- its membership, management committee and coordinators alongside the co-chair for organisation. We are pleased to announce the candidates for the application for Co-Chair, all candidates have self-nominated for this role. Voting is now closed. Results will be announced at the upcoming AGM.

Co-Chair Vote: Welcome

Meet the Candidates

Please read the profiles for all the candidates before making your vote

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Shazia Bibi

As a creative producer and project manager I believe I would be an asset to Bradford Cultural Voice Forum in its endeavour to grow the cultural sector by supporting current and bringing in new talent, engaging with diverse communities and audiences and profiling the cultural sector nationally and internationally.
My background not only shapes my creative approach but also imbues me with a deep understanding and appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry that defines Bradford and its surrounding areas. My experience encompasses a diverse array of multi-scale projects that have involved extensive talent development, sector support, fundraising, community engagement and evaluation. Ranging from working within schools and community centres to orchestrating events in outdoor settings tailored to meet the unique needs of various communities to delivering mural projects to holding international residencies.
This hands-on involvement has provided me with invaluable insights into the intricacies of having a freelance career and the dynamics it brings with it. My aim within this role is to be an approachable advocate for the members perspectives, highlighting diverse opportunities and sharing resources and knowledge far and wide.

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Shannen Johnson

Bradford Born and Bred! I am Shannen, 30 years old from Bradford. I have worked in the Bradford cultural sector for over ten years, both in positions at The Peace Museum and National Science and Media Museum. After welcoming my daughter last year, I am now

working part time for UK wide sector support organisation, GEM, as Engagement Manager. My role is to support museum and heritage learning professionals across the UK – with a strong focus on promoting the richness and vibrancy of Northern culture. I was on Bradford Producing Hub’s Creativity Council, helping support live arts and I still do some freelance work with them. I understand the uniqueness and potential of Bradford’s cultural sector and I have built up connections that includes freelancers, artists, the museum sector, the arts organisations and the many people who support Bradford’s culture which I can bring to this role.

I’ve been part of the CVF from the start, going back to those days of lockdown with meetings on zoom. It was and continues to be a lifeline for Bradford’s cultural sector, getting us through a difficult period and now helping the sector flourish as we head towards Bradford 2025. I have the time, the energy, the drive but most importantly the passion for my city, a city that my daughter will be growing up in, and I want to see a well-supported cultural sector that thrives beyond 2025. Being the co-chair will allow me to play a small role within that.


George Lennon

I’ve been a freelancer for three years, working in our home city for clients including Bradford Council and Bradford 2025; before that I worked for one of the biggest cultural organisations in the district, giving me a strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities within our sector from both sides of the fence. The Cultural Voice Forum kept me plugged in to networks that I’d have otherwise lost when I decided to go it alone, so I know the importance of the CVF, and of having the right representation for freelancers within it. 
The CVF is a standard bearer for all of us who work in this totally mad, sometimes exhausting, hugely rewarding industry. The CVF can make sure our voices are heard, our efforts and expertise recognised, and our work celebrated - that we aren’t simply swept along by the developments coming our way in the next few exciting years. 
I have the right skillset to be an effective Co-chair for the CVF. I work as both a marketer and producer and have experience in strategy, funding and management. I’m embedded in Bradford - I’m from here, live here, work here, love it here - and I’ve worked with many CVF members in some capacity over the past 10 years. But most importantly, I’m passionate about Bradford, about the work we all do, and I’m committed to widening inclusion. I would relish the opportunity to advocate on behalf of our sector and to be chosen as your Co-chair would be a privilege.

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Tahir Shah

Hi, my name is Tahir Shah, I am a Bradford born and bred artist with tons of passion for our district. And I’d like to put myself forward to be your next Co-Chair of CVF.
I have a background in organisational development and culture, I am a trustee of Freedom Studios and a member of BPH’s Creativity Council, I am part of the Centre for National Creative Health associate’s network, as an actor and writer I am a member of Equity Performer’s Union, and I am 1 of 66 people from across the UK who will take part in the Venice Biennial in 2024, in collaboration with Bradford - City of Culture.  
But let’s put all that to aside for a sec and focus on what’s important.. what can I do for you?
Well, I am a HUGE advocate for bringing opportunities to creatives in Bradford (something I regularly do on WhatsApp), because for far too long great work has sat with neighbouring cities, and I, for one, am sick of it, I want Bradford to be the Cultural Mecca of the UK, it may sound crazy ambitious, but that’s just me. As your Co-Chair I will also fight for better treatment and remuneration for freelancers, help to fight against cuts to the arts, and I will maintain integrity and honesty in everything that CVF do.
So, with all that said, if you believe in me like I believe in Bradford, please vote for me to be your new Co-Chair.

Co-Chair Vote: Team Members
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