About us

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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.

In recent years, we have programmed international artists for 2Funky Complex, which is based in Leicester’s vibrant West End. These have included Luciano, Akala, KRS-One, Children Of Zeus, David Rodigan, Dub Pistols, Mica Paris, Botown, 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

Artistic Director
 

Vijay is 2Funky Arts’ Artistic Director, with 27 years’ arts & programming experience, driven by a passion for Black music & culture. He ran Leicester’s internationally renowned 2Funky Records from 1997-2012, alongside managing record labels such as Café De Soul and a variety of popular club nights. In 2007, he set up social enterprise 2Funky Arts, which was followed by internet based Radio2Funky in 2012 (now Ofcom FM/Dab Licensed).

In 2015, Vijay set up 2Funky Music Café, which has since added two new venues and become the mighty 2Funky Complex. Based in Leicester’s vibrant West End, this hosts a variety of happenings, from live music to clubnights, private parties to corporate events.

Vijay is Chair of Baby People and in 2020 he was given a #TogetherWeCare award for outstanding work in supporting local communities through the pandemic. He has also been an East Midlands Women’s Award Winner (Male Supporting Women category). Vijay is particularly experienced in developing multi-sectoral partnerships and managing artist development and large-scale public events.

 
 

Rebecca Wooster

Development Manager

Rebecca handles much of our fundraising, compliance, and evaluation, as well as overseeing brand representation. She has been with us since 2007, but with many more years’ arts experience. Her first venture was Project Coordinator for Leicester Comedy Festival, as part of their award-winning arts & health programme (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 Arts Council, Youth Music, and The National Lottery Heritage & Community Funds. Early in her career, Rebecca was a music writer for The Big Issue and Phoenix Festival guide.

Sophie Antunes

Marketing Officer
Sophie is our Marketing Officer, who is responsible for creating written content for a variety of platforms, from social media posts, website information, press releases, email newsletters, interview articles, and anything in between. With a background in design, and a First Class BA (Hons) Media Studies degree, she effortlessly creates stunning design work for flyers, projects, social media content, evaluation reports, and information booklets. She is a key member in promoting projects such as     And Still I Rise, Festival2Funky, Takeoff & Project LIVE, and spreads the word through creative email designs, social media, and by networking with other creatives.

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

Project Manager / Radio2Funky Business Development Manager


Sam has previously worked as a Creative Development Manager for Serendipity Artist Movement Ltd. He has a Research Masters in Music, Technology & Innovation, and a CM3 Project Management Award, through Innovate UK. He is responsible for managing 2Funky Arts projects including: Festival2Funky, And Still I Rise, TakeOff and Project LIVE. He is also responsible for the marketing and sustainability of the radio station, including generating income through sponsorship and non-commercial fundraising.

 
 

Francesca Nethercot

Project Assistant
She/her


With a background in Human Resources and Event Planning, Francesca provides invaluable insight and assistance to the many projects 2Funky Arts run. She works with a variety of partners and artists, ensuring all access and support needs are explored and assists artists at projects. She has previously worked in various music venues and has experience as a promotions manager and bar supervisor. She is also the Social Secretary for Leicester’s Women’s and Non-Binary Baseball club, Leicester Diamonds.

Lindsey Wells

Administration Assistant
Lindsey is an ambitious and self-motivated administration assistant with a positive attitude. She has extensive customer service and administration skills and has experience in a ‘fast paced’ medical administration setting. She helps with current projects by keeping records of participant figures, distributing feedback forms, measuring monthly statistics, and keeping our databases up to date. She also has a keen interest in arts, music and culture and has performed at various music venues across Leicestershire.
Our Team

Vijay Mistry

Artistic Director
Vijay is 2Funky Arts’ Artistic Director, with 26 years’ arts & programming experience, driven by a passion for Black music & culture. He ran Leicester’s internationally renowned 2Funky Records from 1997-2012, alongside managing record labels such as Café De Soul and a variety of popular club nights. In 2007, he set up social enterprise 2Funky Arts, which was followed by internet based Radio2Funky in 2012 (now Ofcom FM/Dab Licensed). In 2015, Vijay set up 2Funky Music Café, which has since added two new venues and become the mighty 2Funky Complex. Based in Leicester’s vibrant West End, this hosts a variety of happenings, from live music to clubnights, private parties to corporate events. Vijay is Chair of Baby People and a board member of Spark Arts for Children. In 2020 he was given a #TogetherWeCare award for outstanding work in supporting local communities through the pandemic. He has also been an East Midlands Women’s Award Winner (Male Supporting Women category). Vijay is particularly experienced in developing multi-sectoral partnerships and managing artist development and large-scale public events.

Rebecca Wooster

Development Manager
Rebecca handles much of our fundraising, compliance, and evaluation, as well as overseeing brand representation. She has been with us since 2007, but with many more years’ arts experience. Her first venture was Project Coordinator for Leicester Comedy Festival, as part of their award-winning arts & health programme (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 Arts Council, Youth Music, and The National Lottery Heritage & Community Funds. Early in her career, Rebecca was a music writer for The Big Issue and Phoenix Festival guide.

Sophie Antunes

Marketing Officer
Sophie is our Marketing Officer, who is responsible for creating written content for a variety of platforms, from social media posts, website information, press releases, email newsletters, interview articles, and anything in between. With a background in design, and a First Class BA (Hons) Media Studies degree, she effortlessly creates stunning design work for flyers, projects, social media content, evaluation reports, and information booklets. She is a key member in promoting projects such as And Still I Rise, Festival2Funky, Takeoff & Project LIVE, and spreads the word through creative email designs, social media, and by networking with other creatives.

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

Project Manager / Radio2Funky Business Development Manager
Sam has previously worked as a Creative Development Manager for Serendipity Artist Movement Ltd. He has a Research Masters in Music, Technology & Innovation, and a CM3 Project Management Award, through Innovate UK. He is responsible for managing 2Funky Arts projects including: Festival2Funky, And Still I Rise, TakeOff and Project: Live. He is also responsible for the marketing and sustainability of the radio station, including generating income through sponsorship and non-commercial fundraising.

Francesca Nethercot

Project Assistant (Pronouns) she/her
With a background in Human Resources and Event Planning, Francesca provides invaluable insight and assistance to the many projects 2Funky Arts run. She works with a variety of partners and artists, ensuring all access and support needs are explored and assists artists at projects. She has previously worked in various music venues and has experience as a promotions manager and bar supervisor. She is also the Social Secretary for Leicester’s Women’s and Non-Binary Baseball club, Leicester Diamonds.

Lindsey Wells

Administration Assistant (Pronouns) she/her
Lindsey is an ambitious and self-motivated administration assistant with a positive attitude. She has extensive customer service and administration skills and has experience in a ‘fast paced’ medical administration setting. She helps with current projects by keeping records of participant figures, distributing feedback forms, measuring monthly statistics, and keeping our databases up to date. She also has a keen interest in arts, music and culture and has performed at various music venues across Leicestershire.
Our Board

Kajal Nisha Patel

Chair
Kajal is a Research Associate within the department of Clinical Psychology, at the University of Leicester. In 2008 she founded Lightseekers, a collaborative social practice which uses art and social practice to encourage critical action, care, and listening. She holds a Masters in Social Practice, with distinction and a special award, for her thesis on yoga in museums and galleries. She is also the recipient of numerous grants, international awards, and residencies, and was awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Artist Residency in 2016. With a background in visual art, Kajal predominantly works with photography and textiles. Her work has been exhibited in venues across the UK and internationally, including the 2017 Venice Biennale, as part of the Tunisia Pavillion.

Dr Amit Dinesh Patel


Dr Amit Dinesh Patel, aka Dushume, is an experimental noise and sound artist, influenced by Asian underground music, Black music, and DJ culture. His work focuses on performing, recording, and improvising with purpose built, do-it-yourself instruments, incorporating looping, re-mixing and re-editing techniques. Lack and loss of control are central to his work. He has a PhD in Music, “Studio Bench: the DIY nomad and Noise Selector” (2019), from the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He is also a member of the Sound/Image Research Centre at the University of Greenwich, London, and Principal Investigator for the AHRC Research Grant “Exploring Cultural Diversity in Experimental Sound” (2021-23).

Cara Perry


Cara Perry is a JNC qualified Youth and Community Worker. Currently CEO of Leicester Rape Crisis, Cara has over 15 years’ experience in the VCSE sector. Previous employment includes running youth projects, grant fundraising and project management. Cara is also an independent artist focusing her talent on song writing. Her debut EP Peace, Love, Music has been listened to across the globe and she is currently working with other songwriters on many collaboration projects. She has previously worked as Project co-ordinator for 2Funky Arts and was a participant on the first ever Project LIVE, receiving support from 2Funky throughout both aspects of her career.

Evette Walker

 
Evette has worked in education for the past twenty years, with the last seven years as a senior leader working with young people with specific needs, behaviour issues and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Her specialism was Design and Technology, teaching Graphic Design to GCSE and A-Level students. She has always had a passion for arts and completed her BA Hons degree in multi-media design at DMU. She is currently undertaking a national qualification in Headship and has been a headteacher for the past 18months. She believes art is the perfect way to engage communities and has been involved with various projects at local schools as well as the Leicester Caribbean Carnival.

LOZ JONES


Laurence “Loz” Jones is a Service Director for Families and Children at a large County Council, He also runs two record companies, “Rollerblaster”, focused on house music, and “Bad and Bassy”, a U.K. Garage and D&B imprint. He has been involved in community arts since the early 90s and has radio shows on both Radio2Funky and on London’s MBRC.

Shailesh Parmar


Shailesh Parmar is a Leaving Care Adviser and a Detach Youth Worker, working for the Leicester City Council. He has been working for the council for 36 years, helping, supporting and giving information, advice, and guidance, to young people aged 13-25 in the city of Leicester.




Our Board

Kajal Nisha Patel

Chair
Kajal is a Research Associate within the department of Clinical Psychology, at the University of Leicester. In 2008 she founded Lightseekers, a collaborative social practice which uses art and social practice to encourage critical action, care, and listening. She holds a Masters in Social Practice, with distinction and a special award, for her thesis on yoga in museums and galleries. She is also the recipient of numerous grants, international awards, and residencies, and was awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Artist Residency in 2016. With a background in visual art, Kajal predominantly works with photography and textiles. Her work has been exhibited in venues across the UK and internationally, including the 2017 Venice Biennale, as part of the Tunisia Pavillion.

Dr Amit Dinesh Patel


Dr Amit Dinesh Patel, aka Dushume, is an experimental noise and sound artist, influenced by Asian underground music, Black music, and DJ culture. His work focuses on performing, recording, and improvising with purpose built, do-it-yourself instruments, incorporating looping, re-mixing and re-editing techniques. Lack and loss of control are central to his work. He has a PhD in Music, “Studio Bench: the DIY nomad and Noise Selector” (2019), from the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He is also a member of the Sound/Image Research Centre at the University of Greenwich, London, and Principal Investigator for the AHRC Research Grant “Exploring Cultural Diversity in Experimental Sound” (2021-23).

Cara Perry


Cara Perry is a JNC qualified Youth and Community Worker. Currently CEO of Leicester Rape Crisis, Cara has over 15 years’ experience in the VCSE sector. Previous employment includes running youth projects, grant fundraising and project management. Cara is also an independent artist focusing her talent on song writing. Her debut EP Peace, Love, Music has been listened to across the globe and she is currently working with other songwriters on many collaboration projects. She has previously worked as Project co-ordinator for 2Funky Arts and was a participant on the first ever Project LIVE, receiving support from 2Funky throughout both aspects of her career.

Evette Walker


Evette has worked in education for the past twenty years, with the last seven years as a senior leader working with young people with specific needs, behaviour issues and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Her specialism was Design and Technology, teaching Graphic Design to GCSE and A-Level students. She has always had a passion for arts and completed her BA Hons degree in multi-media design at DMU. She is currently undertaking a national qualification in Headship and has been a headteacher for the past 18months. She believes art is the perfect way to engage communities and has been involved with various projects at local schools as well as the Leicester Caribbean Carnival.

Loz Jones


Laurence “Loz” Jones is a Service Director for Families and Children at a large County Council, He also runs two record companies, “Rollerblaster”, focused on house music, and “Bad and Bassy”, a U.K. Garage and D&B imprint. He has been involved in community arts since the early 90s and has radio shows on both Radio2Funky and on London’s MBRC. 

Shailesh Parmar


Shailesh Parmar is a Leaving Care Adviser and a Detach Youth Worker, working for the Leicester City Council. He has been working for the council for 36 years, helping, supporting and giving information, advice, and guidance, to young people aged 13-25 in the city of Leicester.
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