Pawlet Brookes MBE

Pawlet Brookes MBE

CEO and Artistic Director, Serendipity

Pawlet Brookes MBE is the founder, CEO and artistic director of Serendipity, the diversity-led arts organisation in Leicester. An experienced and highly respected senior manager and producer, Pawlet has been at the forefront of the development of Black arts in the UK since she was appointed Marketing Manager at the Nia Centre (Manchester) in the 90s, then Artistic Director of Peepul Centre(Leicester) and ultimately Chief Executive of Rich Mix (London).

Pawlet has been the Arts Council assessor for a number of Black arts capital projects, such as Bernie Grant Arts Centre (London) and National Centre for Carnival Arts (Luton). She has over 25 years’ experience as a cultural leader and is the trailblazer behind several initiatives with arts and cultural organisations both in the UK and internationally.

As founder, CEO and artistic director of Serendipity, Pawlet has pioneered the establishment of an annual dance festival in Leicester since 2011, Let’s Dance International Frontiers, and coordinates the high profile annual Black History Month Leicester. Pawlet has produced large-scale projects including two for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad: Ballare:To Dance with classical composer Phillip Herbert, and Follow the Light, a carnival parade as part of the Olympic torch relay in the East Midlands.

In her extensive career, she has worked alongside a wide range of international artists, directors and companies from Soweto Kinch to Nina Simone, Steven Berkoff, Scottish Ballet, Geraldine O’Connor, Ballet Black, Mahogany Arts, Daksha Sheth, Phillip Herbert, Mica Paris, Akala, Gil Scott Heron, Aswad, Kyle Abraham, Germaine Acogny and Philadanco. Pawlet has edited several publications including Serious About Dance – Let’s Talk in 2005, Hidden Movement: Contemporary Voices of Black British Dance in 2013; Creolizing Dance in a Global Age in 2015; Blurring Boundaries: Urban Street meets Contemporary Dance in 2016; Black Women in Dance: Stepping Out of the Barriers and Lost Legends: 30 Years 30 Voices in 2017; Identity and Choreographic Practice and Invisible Visibility: Diverse Voices within Inclusive Dance in 2018; and Black Dance: A Contemporary Voice in 2019.

Pawlet is currently a member of Arts Council England’s Area Council and associate lecturer at Falmouth University. Pawlet was a finalist for the 2009 National Regeneration and Renewals Award
for Cultural Leadership and has been a speaker at a number of international conferences, including being the UK representative at a UNESCO conference in Stockholm. Pawlet was a runner up in the 2016 Leicester Tourism Awards in the category of Inspiring Manager, BME Leader of the year at the East Midlands Women’s Awards 2018 and One Dance UK’s 2018 Outstanding Programme Award for Let’s Dance International Frontiers.

Pawlet Brookes was awarded an MBE for services to the arts and cultural diversity in the 2022 New Year Honours.

Pawlet’s experience includes leadership training, partnership building, artistic assessment, business planning, fund-raising (private and public sectors and charitable trusts), marketing, audience development, events management, international programming and cultural diversity.

To enquire about consultancy opportunities, please contact