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We’re committed to putting artists at the heart of all that we do and to practising meaningful, resilient and democratic ways of working.

Our Creative Associates help to inform our vision and lead the conversation, while having the time and space to focus on developing their own practice.

In 2021, we sought to find artists from across the creative industries, and we were delighted to receive an unprecedented number of applications of the highest quality, before shortlisting and selecting our group.

Meet our 2021–23 cohort of our Creative Associates below.

Tafsila Khan
Tafsila is smiling and holding her cane
Tafsila Khan

Tafsila is a registered blind freelance access consultant, working in the arts sector to improve the experiences of blind and partially sighted people within this crucial and powerful part of culture.

She is currently working on developing her creative practice as a theatre director.

Tumi Williams

Known for his baritone and lyrical dexterity as Cardiff’s premier emcee Skunkadelic, Tumi channels raw passion, experience and ingenuity into every rhyme and bears a musical heritage shaped by the golden era of hip hop and rooted in his family domain of Nigeria.

Aside from solo work, he also has a resident post at the helm of nine-piece monster funk collective Afro Cluster.

Tumi has honed his networking skills as a booking agent at both Cardiff’s ‘Starving Artists’ promo team and Liverpool’s ‘Fiesta Bombarda’ agency.

He is also emerging as an educator, running a series of workshops in schools and within his local community, demonstrating a dedication not only to artistic output but to the burgeoning industry and training that underpins it.

Jo Fong
Jo wears a bright yellow top and is smiling
Jo Fong

Jo lives in Cardiff and her creative work reflects the need in these times for people to come together. Her artistic practice is an evolving, collaborative approach which puts ideas around belonging or forming community at the forefront.

The work is cultivated through face-to-face contact, it's about connection, communication and how we live together. Jo is currently working remotely on an archive of voices with Battersea Arts Centre called 'What will people need?' 

Conversation, listening, learning and unlearning are the heart of the work and during this time Jo has been supported and supports numerous artists in Wales, England and further afield.

Jo has presented performances at festivals including Experimentica, Dublin Theatre Festival, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, Cardiff Dance Festival, Chinese Arts Now, British Council Edinburgh Showcase and British Dance Edition.

Nerida Bradley
Nerida Bradley is smiling and wearing a bright orange jumpsuit
Nerida Bradley

Nerida is a freelance theatre director, maker and facilitator with an interest in arts and health, socially deployed arts, reimagining who gets to be "an artist" and working with young and unheard voices.

RUSLAN PILYAROV
Ruslan wears an orange jumper and is looking at the camera with his arms folded
Ruslan Pilyarov

Creating stories is Ruslan’s passion. He is a driven filmmaker coming from a documentary background, dedicated to telling untold stories using a variety of forms of storytelling including film, digital art and 360-degree virtual technology.

Ndidi John
Ndidi has long black hair and is wearing a red zip up hoodie. She is smiling.
Ndidi John

Ndidi is an author, scriptwriter, actor, musician, spoken word artist and wellbeing practitioner; a combination of skills that enable her to take a holistic approach to creative activism.

A seasoned storyteller, her exceptional communication skills resonate through her therapeutic stories which demonstrate her understanding of the metaphysics of life.

Her commitment to providing a better future for all has been the driving force for Academy Plus, which provides creative courses for young people, aspiring creatives and professionals who are keen to acquire new skills whilst developing their personal and professional wellbeing.

Ndidi strives to influence the human condition by nurturing individual wellbeing, helping to create harmony and balance in the community and in turn improving society.   A local approach to developing and achieving universal human potential.

Jaffrin Khan
Jaffrin wears a hijab with a white jacket and is smiling.
Jaffrin Khan

Jaffrin is a Welsh Bangladeshi writer and visual artist based in Cardiff.

Having graduated with an honours degree in English, Jaffrin had started writing and performing poetry as a form of activism, to work through personal traumas and discuss topics that are deemed taboo in South Asian communities such as relationships, body image, feminism, social injustice and religion.

She hopes to create work as an emotional outlet for herself as well as a source of relatability for those receiving it simultaneously.

Sita Thomas

Sita Thomas is Co-Artistic Director (maternity cover) for Common Wealth Theatre. She is a multi-disciplinary artist working across television, film and theatre, and has a keen interest in increasing representation of marginalised communities.

Directing credits include 'Go Tell The Bees' for National Theatre Wales, 'Press Play Here', for Theatre Royal Stratford East, 'Under The Mask', for Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse, 'We Are Shadows: Brick Lane' for Tamasha, and 'The Rose and the Bulbul' by Kamal Kaan, an outdoor site-specific promenade production produced by Kadam. Sita leads Tamasha’s Directors Programme.

Sita holds a PhD from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Movement Direction from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

She is an Ambassador Trustee of Young Vic and Trustee of Emergency Exit Arts and part of the advisory group for Refugee Week. Sita is also a presenter on Channel 5’s Milkshake!

With thanks to the Arts Council of Wales' Cultural Recovery Fund.