Hema Mistry

“I love Leicester as a city, I was born and bred here and have many fond memories of growing up in the Belgrave area. It will always be home”

What do you do?

I’ve just started as the new Director of Pedestrian, a small arts organisation specialising in music education in Leicester which I am very excited about. Prior to that I worked for a community arts organisation, People Express in South Derbyshire for 8 years.

I am also a trustee for Leicester Print Workshop, a fantastic studio for anybody interested in print-making.

How did you get to where you are?

I consider myself very lucky when I look back at my career to date. I decided to take a gap year after my first year of Uni and got myself a job at BBC Radio Leicester where I learnt lots especially about the cultural offer in Leicester. So I volunteered at lots of different arts organisations which meant when I graduated I was offered a job within the first few weeks of leaving.

I’ve since worked with lots of fantastic organisations across the Midlands and met some amazing people along the way.

Not a bad step up from my first job at WHSmith in The Shires as it was known then!

Why do you love what you do?

I love the arts, I truly believe it has the ability to empower and change a person. Coming from a participatory arts background, I can see the direct impact that it has on the people and I enjoy supporting them on this journey.

I really enjoy meeting people and usually most people working in the arts are always open and up for connecting over a coffee & cake!

Why are you based in Leicester?

I love Leicester as a city, I was born and bred here and have many fond memories of growing up in the Belgrave area. It will always be home.

I am so excited to be working in Leicester again after such a long time so definitely keen to make connections so get in touch!

I like the community spirit of the city, which is especially highlighted now due to the COVID-19 crisis. People always seem to come together to celebrate the city.

And you can’t escape the recognisable Les-tah accent. My partner grew up in the West Midlands and he always says I have the strongest Leicester accent although I don’t agree but, on a plane, back from Dubai last year, another passenger stopped and asked me if I was from Leicester as he recognised the accent!

What next?

I started my new job as lockdown was announced so I am looking forward to being in the Pedestrian office and seeing the young people and the work produced in the projects.

I’m using this time to start planning for the year ahead so it’s a great time for artists, organisations and anybody who wants to work with us or develop ideas to say hello.

Social media accounts to follow:

Twitter: @hemamistry03

Website: www.pedestrian.info

Email: hema@pedestrian.info