Meet our dedicated Board of Trustees, responsible for the governance and oversight of the charity.
Sydenham Arts has operated as a registered charity since 2015, and our board of trustees has grown since then to recognise the challenges and changing environment of the arts and charity sector. Meet the team below.
Jemilla Olufeko grew up in Sydenham and lives nearby in the Lewisham borough. She has been a trustee since 2020. Jemilla is passionate about the arts especially fashion, design, antiques, theatre and dance. She also loves exploring South East London's rich arts, culture and food and thinks diversity and inclusion is crucial to enriching the creative arts.
Jemilla is a qualified solicitor experienced in advising global companies on legal and commercial matters across the media, arts and technology spaces, previously working at international law firm Taylor Wessing, music tech start-up ROLI and BBC Global News/BBC Studios. She is currently at GroupM (part of the multinational advertising/marketing company WPP).
Jemilla was a Senior Leadership Team Advisor during her time at the BBC, helping to provide diversity of thought to management and has been a guest speaker on the 'Brands and Creativity module ' at the London Business School’s Senior Executive Programme.
Stephanie moved to Sydenham in 2022 and loves exploring the rich arts, culture and heritage in the area. She has worked in local government cultural services for over 15 years in London and the North West and currently leads the Culture, Leisure and Libraries services for Croydon Council. Stephanie is passionate about widening access and inclusion to the arts and building a creative sector more representative of London's diverse communities at every level. She is particularly excited by theatre, literature, visual arts, museums and artistic practice which explores lesser known stories and lesser heard perspectives.
Nitesh has been a Sydenham resident and artist for the last six years. Always looking for the reward and impact that his art can have on people, he is keen on learning how to become more instrumental in communicating initiatives in Arts that are accessible and inclusive for the local Community.
Rachel has lived in Sydenham for 7 years and loves exploring culture and the arts. She is particularly passionate about theatre, literature and spoken word. Rachel is the Director of Marketing for The Stage Media Company with a particular interest in digital strategy. She was one of the creators of the Future of Theatre Conference, The Stage Debut Awards, and Get Into Theatre - a website aimed at helping young people of all backgrounds find routes into fulfilling careers in theatre. She joined Sydenham Arts in 2020.
Helen has lived in the area for over 20 years and is a firm believer in arts and creativity being fundamental to people’s wellbeing and an essential part of a thriving community.
A qualified chartered accountant with 25 years TV and film production experience, now a Chief Financial Officer for a social enterprise Coin Street on the South Bank, having moved into the not for profit sector full time in 2018; she is also an experienced Trustee and school Governor in Lewisham, well used to the challenges of constrained resources of a charity and fundraising.
She is excited to be on the Board of Sydenham Arts as it makes such a positive impact on the lives of the local community using such a range of creative mediums and she means to support the organisation to flourish and remain financially sustainable, drawing on experience from her commercial career as well as more sector specific charity finance experience.
Based in Athens, Greece, as a film reviewer, journalist, and editor Ioanna collaborated with various magazines, newspapers, online platforms, and special editions, while globe-trotting, attending all the major Film Festivals and numerous other press junkets and events, meeting wonderfully talented and diverse people, for more than 20 years. Upon her move to London, she worked as a post-production assistant to a documentary filmmaker and volunteered first as a consultant, then as a programmer to Sydenham Arts Film (formerly Sydenham Film Club). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication/Advertising and a Master’s in Art Criticism. She is currently employed in the Financial Services sector, but via Sydenham Arts continues to feed, express and share her passion for the arts and culture.
Simon has lived in Sydenham for seventeen years. He was Dean of Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL, from 2011-2017, and from 2017–2020 was Dean of Performance for Camberwell Chelsea Wimbledon Colleges. In this role he led the development of an academic vision for a new UAL School of Performance based at Wimbledon College of Arts. At the heart of this vision was the belief in inclusion, diversity, and the arts as a force for change.
Over the years he established many links and opportunities for students, and staff, with Theatres and Universities around the globe. These links allowed students from very diverse cultures and backgrounds to collaborate, share their stories and develop new forms of practice.
Now retired, he is focussing full time on his drawing practice. While at UAL his drawing research led him to collaborate with choreographers, dancers, scientists and surgeons.
He is excited to have joined Sydenham Arts Board and sees this as a great opportunity, with the local community, to support access and aspiration in the arts.