Remembering Naseem Khan (11th August 1939 -8th June 2017)

By Charlotte Jones

ITC wants to pay our grateful respects to Naseem Khan who died this summer of cancer aged 77. She was the author of ‘The Arts that Britain Ignores’ in 1976 and has been a tireless arts activist and campaigner for cultural diversity throughout her long career. She founded The Minority Arts Advisory Service(MAAS) and was co-director of Akademi (Indian Dance). Between 1996-2003 Naseem was Head of Diversity at Arts Council England. In that role she worked closely with ITC and was a strong supporter of our Fast Track BAME Arts Management Programme and our Glass Ceilings research. We have benefited hugely from her wisdom and sound advice. She has been an inspiration to many of our members including Maureen McGough from Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah who wrote the following tribute:

‘1989 was a pivotal year for me – I started work for ADiTi and met two special women that encouraged and supported me both professionally and personally. These women were Naseem Khan and Abha Adams and both remained my friends even when I’d left the company. Naseem had that special quality of enabling you to discover skills that you never knew you had and supporting you to fulfil ambitions that you never thought that you could succeed in. She had an enormous positive impact on so many peoples’ lives and gave so generously of her time. I feel blessed to have known Naseem and will always cherish the time that we had together.’

Naseem will be greatly missed by the independent theatre sector but her influence lives on.



If any members would like to join her family and friends in remembering her there will be a Celebratory Memorial Event for Naseem on Sunday 22nd October 2017. Venue: Arnold Circus and Rochelle School in Shoreditch. Provisional timings: 3.30pm – 6pm (with fireworks on the bandstand at 6pm).