The Albany is pleased to announce that Zarah Sultana, Coventry South’s new MP, has joined the Board of the Charitable Trust that manages Coventry’s Albany Theatre and Studio on behalf of the community.
David Meredith, Albany Theatre Chair, says “Zarah has a genuine and deep interest in the Arts and is playing an active role in the campaign to save and support the UK arts industry that has been so badly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. As our local MP Zarah has been particularly supportive as we seek to raise the funding we need for the theatre’s planned development work. We are delighted that Zarah readily accepted our invitation to join the Board. This is a significant vote of confidence in the Trust and her influence both locally and in government will be extremely valuable for us as we deliver our Arts for Life Vision – once we are able to reopen!”
Zarah strongly urged the Chancellor in the weeks leading up to the recent government announcement to act to protect the arts and cultural industry locally, saying: “Coventry is home to excellent theatres, music venues, museums and galleries that serve a diverse community. It's part of the reason why we were awarded the honour of being City of Culture 2021. Without additional support, some of these may not survive to 2021.”
Following the government’s announcement, in Parliament on Thursday 9 July Zarah called on the Minister for Culture and Digital to ensure that emergency arts funding supports organisations in Coventry and has secured a meeting with the Minister to take this forward.
The Albany’s mission as an organisation is to engage, inspire and create through enriching the cultural life of Coventry and to support its communities in enhancing health and well-being... because the Arts are good for you! The Trust’s Vison to “promote well-being through Arts for Life” reflects Zarah’s professional work and makes her a superb addition to the theatre’s already expert Board of Trustees.
Kevin Shaw, the Albany’s CEO and Artistic Director, says “As an advocate for global movements towards an equal society, social justice, and the fight against climate change, Zarah works to support Coventry residents from all backgrounds, and plays a vital role supporting projects that boost community well-being and challenge the issues facing her constituents. This is also our agenda, so the ‘fit’ is perfect and we are delighted Zarah agreed to join us.”
Zarah said “As someone who is passionate about theatre and making art and culture more accessible, I'm very excited to join the board and will offer support wherever possible. The Albany provides a key space for creative expression and entertainment in Coventry, not to mention the contribution it makes to the city through apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities.”
Zarah joins the Albany Theatre Trust at a pivotal time as they plan their safe reopening strategy and begin building developments in preparation for Coventry’s ‘slightly rescheduled’ year as UK City of Culture. The staff and volunteers are thrilled with the news of this new appointment and warmly welcome Zarah Sultana to the team. Zarah’s appointment has added a much-needed boost after a difficult time in the world of theatre.