About us

Page Title Shape 1
Page Title Shape 2
Page Title Shape 3
About

Mission Statement

Established in 2007, 2Funky Arts (2FA) is a social enterprise, dedicated to advancing and celebrating arts and music of black origin. Our projects work instinctively to stir emotion, provoke debate, nurture collaborations, and push boundaries across sub-genres.

About us

A Brief History

Our Director Vijay Mistry ran 2Funky Records from 1997 to 2012; an independent record store based in Leicester with an international reputation among DJs, artists and tastemakers. This is where the 2Funky story began.

In 2007, Vijay set up 2Funky Arts – bringing his passion for arts and music of black origin, to diverse communities across the city and beyond.

Since then, we’ve staged events at major venues such as Curve Theatre and De Montfort Hall, including Midlands Best Dance Crew. In 2009, our organisation managed part of the cultural programme for Leicester’s Special Olympics (The Lyric Lounge).

Inspired by the array of talented artists that we’ve worked with, our 2013 Spectrum documentary focuses on Leicester’s Black music scene which spans over 40 years.

More recently, our branded venues, 2Funky Music Café, 2Funky Lounge and 2Funky Street Kitchen, have brought international artists to Leicester. These have included Akala, Mica Paris, Aba Shanti-I, Julian Marley & Grandmaster Flash.

Youth Music have funded programmes such as 2Sing, Project Band and The Grime Sessions, which have engaged with hundreds of young people in positive music-making initiatives.

Our projects have featured on Panorama and Sky News.

Our annual flagship event, Festival2Funky, has run for seven years (hosted online in 2020 to engage audiences in lockdown).

Meanwhile, Radio2Funky continues to entertain forty thousand listeners across the UK, through its FM and internet presence.

We continue to plan, develop, innovate, and deliver high quality arts activities in the context of an ever-changing creative sector.

Our Team

 

Vijay Mistry

Managing Director

Prior to setting up 2Funky Arts, Vijay ran 2Funky Records which traded from 1997-2012. This became one of the UK’s leading stores for music of Black origin, with an international reputation. Vijay has been working on community initiatives for over twenty years, programming projects, events and workshops. He established 2Funky Arts in 2007, followed by Radio2Funky in 2012. In 2015, he opened 2Funky Music Café, followed by 2Funky Street Kitchen and 2Funky Lounge.

Vijay is a board member for The Spark Arts for Children and Chair for Baby People. He has been an East Midlands Women’s Awards winner in the male Supporting Women category. In 2020, he was given a #TogetherWeCare Award for his outstanding work in supporting local communities through the pandemic; which included promoting digital events and bringing Festival2Funky 2020 online.

Rebecca Wooster

Development Manager

Rebecca handles much of our fundraising, marketing and evaluation, and has been with us since 2007, but with many more years’ of arts experience. She began her career in the arts as a Project Coordinator for Leicester Comedy Festival, on their arts & health programme (award winning Hurt Until It Laughs). Rebecca went on to work for The Spark Children Arts Festival and Mantle Arts. In 2016, she evaluated a Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust arts & mental health project (Project LALU). She has also worked in fundraising, which has included securing major bids through Big Lottery, Youth Music and Heritage Lottery. Early in her career, Rebecca wrote for The Big Issue and Phoenix Festival guide.

 
 

Fern Beard

Project Manager

Fern is an experienced producer. She moved to Leicester in 2013 to study Arts & Festival management at DMU and fell in love with the city, its people and its cultural scene. She has since managed many projects for Big Difference Company, who produce the Leicester Comedy Festival and The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. In the past this has included collaborations with local libraries, care homes and schools.

A keen advocate for inclusion, she strives to develop and deliver projects that mirror this. She is new to the 2Funky team but looks forward to being able to continue this important work in the future. In her spare time, you’ll find her roaming charity shops for second-hand goodies, watching her beloved Liverpool FC on TV or supporting Leicester Tigers at Welford road, discussing her latest adventures, and creating weird and wonderful festival garments on her sewing machine.

Sophie Antunes

Marketing & Administration Officer

Our Marketing and Administration Officer, Sophie Antunes, is responsible for creating written content for a variety of platforms, from social media posts, website information, press releases, interview articles, and anything in between. With a background in design and a Media Studies degree, she can easily create stunning design work for flyers, social media content and information booklets. She is a key member in promoting projects such as And Still I Rise, Festival2Funky & Project LIVE, and spreads the word through creative email design, social media and networking with other creatives.

 
 

Aysha Banwait

Admin Assistant
 
With over 5 years’ worth of experience in administration, Aysha has had the opportunity to learn and strengthen skills such as process implementation, marketing and advertising, and management and strong organisational skills. She has qualifications in both Media Studies and Media and Communication, which helped her to get her first job in the higher education sector. Her previous admin roles vary from assisting community projects around Leicester, event planning, volunteering and day to day administration duties.

Christina Goworek

Marketing Assistant

 

Our marketing assistant Christina has experience creating both physical and digital marketing content for the local independent businesses she has previously worked for. Her previous marketing experience ranges from illustrating promotional window art and sandwich boards, to creating and sharing content on social media platforms. Having studied at Loughborough University on their Art and Design Foundation course as well as studied Business at college, Christina fuses her creativity and business knowledge to produce effective visual and written marketing content.

Christina is a new member of the 2Funky team. She is enthusiastic about the arts, both as a contributor and observer. She is also passionate about being part of a team that offers support and creates opportunities for promising young artists so that they can find their feet in this competitive industry.

 
 

ATTISH DAVDA

Radio2Funky Manager

 

Attish has over 20 years’ broadcasting experience and a passion for radio production. He started as a presenter on Fresh FM, where he developed skills in a variety of roles and cultivated an innovative approach. Attish joined Radio2Funky in 2020, around the time that the station launched its FM presence. With dedication and determination, he has a key part to play in raising awareness of the station and carving out a strong reputation for Radio2Funky locally, regionally and nationally. Bringing both mixing skills and community links to the table, he has already made a big impact on the station. With impressive music & media industry contacts, Attish is keen to support training and development opportunities for young, emerging presenters, and inspire them to participate.

Sam Warren

Radio2Funky Business Development Manager

Sam has previously worked as a Creative Development Manager for Serendipity Artist Movement Ltd. He has a First Class BA (Hons) in Music, Technology & Innovation, and a CM3 Project Management Award, through Innovate UK. He is responsible for the marketing and sustainability of the radio station, including generating income through sponsorship and non-commercial fundraising.

 
 

Rosie Olivier-Heggs

Assistant Radio Engineer

 

Rosie is the Assistant Radio Engineer and Sound Technician for Radio2Funky. She is both a skilled musician and sound engineer with over 5 years’ experience in sound engineering, and 10 years’ of musical performance experience. She graduated from the University of Derby in 2017, with a First Class Honours in Applied Music Studies, and since then, she has been providing services for community projects and performing at charity gigs, as part of the punk/ rock band ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’.
She is new to the 2Funky team, but looks forward to applying her mixing and production skills, to provide live sound engineering at our future events, as well as setting up sound levels and monitoring audio equipment.

AARON LEE

Belgrave Positive Lives Project Lead
Aaron is the Head Coach of Cossington United and leads on the sports element of the Belgrave Positive Lives project. He has strong local community links and works with vulnerable young people, particularly, to ensure they have access to our programmes. He is a qualified FA Coach, with a certificate in Youth Work, and has a sound working knowledge of risk assessment, including COVID-19 safety measures. Aaron is keen to continue to build on his skills and is studying for a Level 2 Leadership Qualification with Leicestershire Police. The Belgrave Positive Lives project is currently operating on reduced capacity due to the pandemic, with sessions running mainly online.
Our Team

 

Vijay Mistry

Managing
Director

Prior to setting up 2Funky Arts, Vijay ran 2Funky Records which traded from 1997-2012. This became one of the UK’s leading stores for music of Black origin, with an international reputation. Vijay has been working on community initiatives for over twenty years, programming projects, events and workshops. He established 2Funky Arts in 2007, followed by Radio2Funky in 2012. In 2015, he opened 2Funky Music Café, followed by 2Funky Street Kitchen and 2Funky Lounge.

Vijay is a board member for The Spark Arts for Children and Chair for Baby People. He has been an East Midlands Women’s Awards winner in the male Supporting Women category. In 2020, he was given a #TogetherWeCare Award for his outstanding work in supporting local communities through the pandemic; which included promoting digital events and bringing Festival2Funky 2020 online.

Rebecca Wooster

Development Manager
Rebecca handles much of our fundraising, marketing and evaluation, and has been with us since 2007, but with many more years’ arts experience. She began her career in the arts as a Project Coordinator for Leicester Comedy Festival, on their arts & health programme (award winning Hurt Until It Laughs). Rebecca went on to work for The Spark Children Arts Festival and Mantle Arts. In 2016, she evaluated a Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust arts & mental health project (Project LALU). She has also worked in fundraising, which has included securing major bids through Big Lottery, Youth Music and Heritage Lottery. Early in her career, Rebecca wrote for The Big Issue and Phoenix Festival guide.

Fern Beard

Project Manager
Fern is an experienced producer. She moved to Leicester in 2013 to study Arts & Festival management at DMU and fell in love with the city, its people and cultural scene. She has since managed many projects for Big Difference Company, who produce the Leicester Comedy Festival and The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. In the past this has included collaborations with local libraries, care homes and schools. A keen advocate for inclusion, she strives to develop and deliver projects that mirror this She is new to the 2Funky team but looks forward to being able to continue this important work in future. In her spare time, you’ll find her roaming charity shops for second-hand goodies, watching her beloved Liverpool FC on TV or at Welford road supporting Leicester Tigers, discussing her latest adventures and creating weird and wonderful festival garments on her sewing machine.

Sophie Antunes

Marketing & Administration Officer
Our Marketing and Admin Assistant, Sophie Antunes, is responsible for creating written content for a variety of platforms, from social media posts, website information, press releases, interview articles, and anything in between. With a background in design and a Media Studies degree, she can easily create stunning design work for flyers, social media content and information booklets. She is a key member in promoting projects such as And Still I Rise, Festival2Funky & Project LIVE, and spreads the word through creative email design, social media and networking with other creatives.

Aysha Banwait

Admin Assistant
With over 5 years’ worth of experience in administration, Aysha has had the opportunity to learn and strengthen skills such as process implementation, marketing and advertising, and management and strong organisational skills. She has qualifications in both Media Studies and Media and Communication, which helped her to get her first job in the higher education sector. Her previous admin roles vary from assisting community projects around Leicester, event planning, volunteering and day to day administration duties.

Christina Goworek

Marketing Assistant
Our marketing assistant Christina has experience creating both physical and digital marketing content for the local independent businesses she has previously worked for. Her previous marketing experience ranges from illustrating promotional window art and sandwich boards, to creating and sharing content on social media platforms. Having studied at Loughborough University on their Art and Design Foundation course as well as studied Business at college, Christina fuses her creativity and business knowledge to produce effective visual and written marketing content. Christina is a new member of the 2Funky team. She is enthusiastic about the arts, both as a contributor and observer. She is also passionate about being part of a team that offers support and creates opportunities for promising young artists so that they can find their feet in this competitive industry.

Attish Davda

Radio2Funky Manager
Attish has over 20 years’ broadcasting experience and a passion for radio production. He started as a presenter on Fresh FM, where he developed skills in a variety of roles and cultivated an innovative approach. Attish joined Radio2Funky in 2020, around the time that the station launched its FM presence. With dedication and determination, he has a key part to play in raising awareness of the station and carving out a strong reputation for Radio2Funky locally, regionally and nationally. Bringing both mixing skills and community links to the table, he has already made a big impact on the station. With impressive music & media industry contacts, Attish is keen to support training and development opportunities for young, emerging presenters, and inspire them to participate.

Sam Warren

Radio2Funky Business Development Manager
Sam has previously worked as a Creative Development Manager for Serendipity Artist Movement Ltd. He has a First Class BA (Hons) Music, Technology & Innovation, and a CM3 Project Management Award, through Innovate UK. He is responsible for marketing and sustainability of the radio station, including generating income through sponsorship and non-commercial fundraising.

Rosie Olivier-Heggs

Assistant Radio Engineer
Rosie is the Assistant Radio Engineer and Sound Technician for Radio2Funky. She is both a skilled musician and sound engineer with over 5 years’ experience in sound engineering, and 10 years’ of musical performance experience. She graduated from the University of Derby in 2017, with a First Class Honours in Applied Music Studies, and since then, she has been providing services for community projects and performing at charity gigs, as part of the punk/ rock band ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’. She is new to the 2Funky team, but looks forward to applying her mixing and production skills, to provide live sound engineering at our future events, as well as setting up sound levels and monitoring audio equipment.

Aaron Lee

Aaron is the Head Coach of Cossington United and leads on the sport element of the Belgrave Positive Lives project. He has strong local community links and works with vulnerable young people, particularly, to ensure they have access to our programmes. He is a qualified FA Coach, with a certificate in Youth Work, and has a sound working knowledge of risk assessment, including COVID-19 safety measures. Aaron is keen to continue to build on his skills and is studying for a Level 2 Leadership with Leicestershire Police. The Belgrave Positive Lives project is currently operating on reduced capacity due to the pandemic, with sessions running mainly online.
Services

ARTS & EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS

2FA has worked in schools, colleges, pupil referral units and community centres, complementing accredited programmes and the national curriculum. With a pool of experienced practitioners, we can tailor workshops to suit the needs of any given age or ability group. Art forms include Street & Breakdance, MCing, Lyric Writing, Vocal training, Music Production, Photography, Graphic Design and Hip Hop Theatre. These range from one off workshops to longer programmes that are accredited by the Arts Award.

Marketing & Artist Promotion

2FA offers services in developing promotional material and online marketing. We have created effective marketing material for events, festivals and exhibitions, aimed at maximising attendance. For years, 2FA has worked with artists and promoters to develop eye catching and cost-effective promotional material, including e-flyers, posters and merchandise. We also have a following of 22K+ via our social media platforms and mailing lists, and regularly share promotional information on behalf of artists and partners.

Project Management

Our talented team can provide project management services to run artist development, educational, arts in health, heritage and community initiatives. Strong links with local venues, cultural partners, and artists and audiences, enhance our ability to deliver impressive results. We have previously run projects in partnership with Leicester City Council, Curve Theatre and Punch Records.

Event Organising & Programming

Our team has 20+ years’ experience in organising events and working with local promoters. We specialise in music and arts of Black origin. Examples include Midlands Best Dance Crew, The Real McCoy Comedy Show, Project LIVE showcases, The Live Sessions and Festival2Funky. We also have experience of running online events, working with professional live streaming service providers, having reached 49K through Festival2Funky 2020.

Artist Training & Development

We deliver masterclasses and artist development/ training programmes. 2FA can tailor-make a programme to suit your group, in areas such as DJing, Music Production, MCing and Vocal Training. We also offer advice in marketing and career development. 2FA has run artist development programmes funded by Arts Council England, ESF, PRS Foundation and Youth Music.

Volunteering


We regularly host events and projects that involve volunteers in training and/ or hands on work experience, and have previously run accredited programmes. We can also offer training and work experience for groups. Supporters of our volunteer projects have included the Big Lottery Community Fund.

Testimonials

What they say about 2Funky Arts