About

Festival Team

Nisha Tandon

Founder & Executive Director

Nisha is a social entrepreneur, founder & director of ArtsEkta - one of the only organisations on the island of Ireland promoting ethnic arts, culture and heritage. She founded this organisation in 2006 following two decades of experience in the arts and after discovering a critical gap for quality ethnic arts engagement in the sector. She holds a degree from the National School of Drama in New Delhi and is a trained Bharatanatyam Indian classical dancer. Nisha was former member of the board of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and currently serves as a member of the board of the Community Relations Council. In June 2014, Nisha was the first Asian women from Northern Ireland to be awarded the prestigious UK Asian Women of Achievement Award for contribution to arts and culture, and later that month was awarded an OBE for services to the minority ethnic sector in the 2014 Queen's Honours List.

Krishan Tandon

Project Manager

Krishan has worked Northern Ireland’s arts and cultural sector almost a decade following graduating with an undergraduate & masters degree at Queens University Belfast. Krishan joined ArtsEkta as a volunteer in 2009 and after working for some time across the arts and cultural sector in London, he took up position as Project Manager for the company in 2015. In 2010, he was selected as part of Belfast Media Group's Top 40 under 40 celebrating those that contribute to the social, economic and political life of Belfast. Krishan is highly experienced in leading the production of large scale cultural events and creative projects. He works as producer of the Belfast Mela - the largest festival of world cultures in Ireland. In 2015 he was responsible for co producing one of the largest outdoor theatre events ever to take place in Belfast - 'Nine Nights'. 

Aoife McCrory

Outreach & Engagement Officer

Aoife has worked Northern Ireland’s arts and cultural sector for the last eight years following graduating from University of Ulster in 2009. Before joining the ArtsEkta team in April 2017 Aoife worked as Tourist Officer for Cultúrlann and as Project Manager of the Creative Belfast Farset Project. She has worked on community based arts, cultural and social history projects and is also a freelance Arts Facilitator specializing in children’s workshops. Aoife was the Pop-Up shop manager for Rita Duffy’s Thaw Factory exhibition at Féile an Phobal 2014. Aoife is a Director of social enterprise company ’Bí Gaelach’ and runs her own Irish language stationary business, ‘Déanta ag Belfast Belle’.

Julianne Skillen

Heritage Officer

Julianne Skillen has been working in and with the arts sector for over 22 years. She holds several qualifications including a BA Hons in History of Art, a PGCE in Further Education, a Post Graduate certificate in Art in the Community from Queens University Belfast and an ILM Leadership and Management award. Julianne has worked with the voluntary, community and statutory sectors within project management and funding in the fields of community development, disability, education, youth, play, Black and Minority Ethnic communities and of course the arts, were her heart lies.

Deirdre McShane

Finance & Operations Officer

Deirdre is an experienced administrator working on a range of funded programmes within the community and voluntary sector for over 10 years. Following a degree in Economics she completed training in manual and computerised bookkeeping with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. She previously worked as the Administrator for the Together For You project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, aimed at delivering mental health and wellbeing services to a range of people across Northern Ireland and more recently as the Office Co-ordinator for a community development charity based in Belfast.

Nabeela Yasin Iannelli

Project Assistant

Nabeela graduated from Bradford University in Community Studies with Social & Public Policy. From there she developed the Sheffield Community Access and Interpreting Service which is now based in the Public Health Department and is one of the largest interpreting and translation services in Yorkshire. In 2011, Nabeela moved home to Belfast where she worked as community development worker in the Dunmurry area with the BME community and has been extensively involved in cross community work. Before becoming employed with ArtsEkta she worked as a freelance facilitator for our One World Day programme focusing on cultural awareness on Pakistan and Islam.