Bird College – Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre has announced several new appointments, including Sonia Watson-Fowler as a trustee of the Doreen Bird Foundation and Tosh Wanogho-Maud and Kamel Chahal joining the board as Non-Executive Directors.
In addition, Ryan Francois is announced as a new patron joining Gary Avis, Christopher Biggins, Baroness Tessa Blackstone, Cavin Cornwall, Gavin Lee, Lara Pulver, John Reid, Liz Robertson and Dougie Squires OBE MVO.
Joint Principals Shirley Coen (CEO) and Luis De Abreu (Artistic Director) said: “This is a pivotal time and we are honoured that each of our new appointments are sharing their expertise and experiences with the Bird College community.
“We are wholly committed to empowering all our students and staff, ensuring they are fairly and equally represented within the structures of the College at every level. Through these vital appointments we are continuing to develop and deliver meaningful change both within the college as well as to the Performing Arts industry more widely.”
Sonia Watson-Fowler, Trustee of the Doreen Bird Foundation, said: “Since founding Inclusive Communication Consultancy, I have worked with various establishments at different stages on the journey to cementing inclusion, equality and diversity in their organisational culture; it was immediately clear that Bird College is galvanised and ready to actively tackle the challenges, have the discussions that really matter and actually implement strategies affecting change – engaging in empathetic reflection and approaching issues of diversity from a human, not tick box perspective – as per my practice.
“During years of working with young people from diverse backgrounds, an essential truth for me has been the right for all individuals, regardless of their background, to have quality education and for those providing said education to be open to learning and evolving for the good of their students – putting them first.
“This organisation genuinely seeks to create and serve a more diverse cohort and curriculum. Therefore, I am honoured to be able to use my expertise to assist in this progression and was moved by the openness, appreciation and drive for change encountered in exchanges with staff and students.”