Meet the leader – Sandra Shakespeare

Sandra Shakespeare, the National Archives, Community
Project Officer and a Clore Fellow

Sandra Shakespeare is The National Archives, Community Project Officer and a Clore Fellow (2014/15). She was previously Arts Development Co-ordinator for East Potential, Stratford; Learning Communities Development Worker for London Borough of Tower Hamlets; Marketing Assistant for Black Women in the Arts; Specialist Education tutor for BskyB Ltd and Project Assistant, Ocean Music Venue.



Read on to find out why Sandra is a leader…

Country of birth:

United Kingdom

African countries you have visited:

South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ethiopia

Languages spoken:


Your family background:

African-Caribbean – both my parents are Jamaican

Tell us something about your leadership roles (employed or voluntary):

I have many leadership roles; on a voluntary basis one of the most significant for me was with Black Women in the Arts, running an arts programme for people in temporary housing with East Thames Housing, and currently as a co-founder member with Museum Detox – a collective network for BME professionals and workers across heritage and arts.

What recent achievements (in the last 3 years) are you proud of and why. Give examples of the positive impact you have made in the diaspora and/or on the continent:

Museum Detox started in 2014 with a handful of BME people from national museums, galleries and archives – we now have nearly 150 members from all ages, career levels and backgrounds with friends as far afield as NYC! I qualified as a Life Coach and enjoy coaching and mentoring others so that they can work towards achieving their own goals and outcomes. I successfully completed the Clore Cultural Leadership programme in 2015 – I travelled to Africa for the first time. Returning in 2016, where I visited the African Union to discuss Arts & Culture on the continent with various African political leaders.

I volunteered as a Life Coach with the Àsikò International Arts School in Mozambique and last year Ethiopia – a profoundly amazing experience! The programme was designed for African artists to develop their artistic and curatorial practices and to learn current arts practice with leading arts professionals from around the world. I continue to mentor some of these artists and curators from the Continent.

A few words of advice to young leaders (age 5-11):

Be proud of your unique heritage listen to the stories from your elders. Try to do more of the things that make you happy and make you feel good about yourself. Leaders never stop learning!

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