Introducing our new Administrator & Trustees

Written by Chloe
Back to listings
5th April 2024

Introducing our new Administrator and Trustees

We are delighted to welcome Zahra as our new Administrator – joining our Birmingham team, alongside Raidene, Cerian, Christina and Paul as new trustees of the China Plate board. They each come with unique skills, experience and capacities and we are honoured they have agreed to join our existing group of fantastically skilled and committed trustees.

Sarah Preece (Chair): I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our trustee’s past, present and future. The skill and dedication required of all of you is to be celebrated and your passion about the work the company delivers so essential to its achievements.

Five circular frames containing photographs of Zahra Mehji, Raidene Carter, Cerian Eiles, Christina Elliot and Paul Hewlett.

Here is a little bit about each of them:

Zahra Meghji

Based in our Birmingham office, as our new Administrator, Zahra will work with our Executive Director Chloe to maintain and progress a varied range of administrative duties, including finance, processes and policy implementation and environmental data reporting, alongside providing our larger team including Co-Artistic Directors and Producers with administrative and logistical support, alongside managing our Birmingham and London offices.

Photo © Hayley Salter Photography

Raidene Carter

Raidene has been a cultural leader and creative producer for over 20 years. In this time, she has worked for Talawa Theatre Co., the Lyric Hammersmith, Birmingham REP, the Albany, Deptford, and Theatre Centre, before taking up the role of Executive Producer (Cultural Programmes & Live Sites) for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Here, she led the Birmingham 2022 Festival, the 6-month festival of creativity wrapped around the Games, oversaw the city’s Festival Sites and delivered the Prize Medal design and fabrication project.

Following this, Raidene became Creative Director for Birmingham Festival 23, a free, 10-day celebration of Birmingham’s creativity and culture, marking the one-year anniversary of the Games. She is currently Artistic Director and Co-CEO of Artsadmin, which runs Toynbee Studios, and produces a range of hyperlocal and international artists projects, and artist development initiatives.

Raidene was an inaugural MOBO/LTC Executive Fellow (2016) and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2021).

Photo © Jas Sansi

Cerian Eiles

Cerian is an independent consultant with over 15 years’ experience working across the arts sector and with a range of art forms in roles that include strategic fundraising support, organisational development and business planning. She takes a holistic approach through mentoring, hands-on support, strategy development and fundraising.

She has worked with organisations that include the National Theatre, the Old Vic, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Talawa, the Royal Court, National Centre for Writing, Apples and Snakes and Mosaic Rooms, but specialises in working with grassroots organisations, as exemplified by her long-term relationship with The People’s Orchestra.

Alongside her work with The People’s Orchestra, Cerian’s current clients include Old High Street Intra Cultural Consortium, creating ground-up community, cultural and heritage based regeneration in her local area, and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, creating a business plan and fundraising strategy for two strategic projects.

Christina Elliot

Christina is Head of Programming and Producing at The Place, London’s creative powerhouse for dance development.

Christina leads a team of producers to deliver The Place’s theatre programme, artist development initiatives and new producing & touring projects. Her areas of specialism include project development, partnership working and fundraising.

Key recent projects include the development of the third phase of the Rural Touring Dance Initiative, the expansion of The Place’s in house producing team and the growth of The Place’s Festival of Korean Dance into a national touring programme. Christina has had the pleasure and privilege of working alongside many brilliant artists and companies at The Place (including Requardt & Rosenberg, Igor x Moreno, Lost Dog, Sivan Rubinstein, Extended Play & SAY) and previously whilst producer at Fuel (2006 – 2014, including Inua Ellams, Will Adamsdale & Clod Ensemble). Christina was on the board of Bristol based Uninvited Guests from 2014 – 2023.

Photo © Nici Eberl

Paul Hewlett

Paul is the Chief Operations Officer for the CORE & Co Foundation, an education charity that provides social justice solutions for children and young people. Foundation projects include SAFE Birmingham, a Department for Education backed initiative designed to reduce children’s vulnerability to serious youth violence and Raise My Game, an LTA funded tennis programme that supports secondary school students to build resilience, wellbeing and fitness through access to high-quality coaching.

As Director of Content for Into Film, Paul led content production and curation for the BFI’s 5-19yrs film education programme. In his early career Paul worked in film and television production before joining the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, supporting new talent partnerships with FILM4, Sight & Sound, Dazed magazine and BBC Film.

Prior to joining CORE & Co Paul had the privilege of being part of the China Plate team, working as their General Manager between May 2019 and September 2021.

Together they join our fantastic Chair Sarah Preece and Trustees Indy Datta, Nadine Lewycky and Kaya Stanley-Money; who you can read more about on our Board of Trustees page here.

Trustees meet four times a year to review and progress China Plate’s programme and our mission to develop a new model of creating and producing theatre that opens up the way performance is made, who makes it and who it’s experienced by.

We will be doing an open call for further trustee places later this year, so keep an eye out for more information or contact us if you think you may be interested by emailing our Executive Director Chloe Courtney on [email protected]