Our Creative Associate Artists span a wide range of disciplines, these multi-talented individuals maintain the ethos of the foundation and ensure the principles which Geraldine held are present in all our work.

Khadijah Ibrahiim

Khadijah Ibrahiim was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage. She is a literary activist, live artist, theatre maker,  producer, and artistic director of Leeds Young Authors and an associate artist at the Geraldine conner Foundation. Educated at the University of Leeds, she has a BA honours in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies and a MA in Theatre Studies. Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s most prolific poets by BBC Radio, she has appeared on many international stages. Her poetry collection  ‘Another Crossing’ was published by Peepal Tree Press and premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2014.

Claudio kron do BRAZIL

Bahia born musician Claudio kron plays a variety of percussion instruments and has travelled the world extensively promoting his native Brazilian culture through his writing, teaching and directorial work. Claudio cites one of his career highlights as his visit to Ghana working alongside Geraldine Connor at Elmina castle in 2007 to celebrate 200 years since the abolition of slavery. A master percussionist, Claudio most recently contributed to the Creative Lab in 2016.

David Lascelles

David Lascelles is a BAFTA winning producer of drama for television and the cinema, including Inspector MorseMoll Flanders, and Shakespeare’s Richard III. In 2007 he was Executive Producer of Geraldine Connor’s legendary theatre show Carnival Messiah which ran for two weeks in a big top in the grounds of Harewood House, as part of the celebration of the bi-centenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade. He was one of the founders of GCF and is a contributor to the Creative Café and Creative Lab projects. On the death of his father in July 2011, he became the 8th Earl of Harewood.

Christella Litras

Christella Litras is a songwriter, musicians, composer, vocal arranger, record producer and founding member of Caution Collective. Christella has a strong interest in World music, is heavily interested in Caribbean music and is known for her collaborations and tours with World Musicians, such as Ella Andall and Motown legends, such as Martha Reeves. Recently she assisted in production of Rob Green’s album Blue which was 3rd in the ITunes RnB Charts. A protégée of Geraldine’s she is heavily involved in the foundation contributing to many successful projects.

Zodwa Nyoni

Zodwa Nyoni is a playwright and poet based in Leeds. Having started writing in 2005 with Leeds Young Authors Zodwa was part of the slam team that competed at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival in New York, 2006. As well as featuring in  many international anthologies, taking several plays on tour and performing her work across the world Zodwa also leads poetry workshops in schools, community centres and other groups across Yorkshire, Lancashire and East Anglian. Zodwa’s most recent work with the Geraldine Connor Foundation was as part of the Creative Lab in 2016.

Joe Williams

Joe Williams is an actor, writer and historian. Born in Leeds of Jamaican heritage, Joe has specialised in theatre in education, community partnerships and historical performances. Joe is a co-founder of Leeds Diasporian Stories Research Group, Leeds Bi-Centenary Transformation Project, Kuffdem Theatre, RJC Dance and others. Following his MA in 2014 from the University of Leeds, Joe developed the Leeds Black History Walk and founded Heritage Corner, Leeds – generating diverse projects on African heritage in Yorkshire.

Nigel Wong

Nigel Wong is a Trinidadian born actor, singer, musical theatre director and close friend of Geraldine. An original Carnival Messiah cast member in 1999, Nigel has since performed in the West End, at the National Theatre and on the BBC. In 2014, Nigel was a leader on our summer masterclasses and in 2015 he curated ‘Tell Me What Yo’ Singin for’, in celebration of Trinidadian musical heritage and Geraldine’s father Edric Connor.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is experienced in front of house and arts administration. During her career she has held positions at The Yorkshire Museum, the West Yorkshire Playhouse and most recently at Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre. Kathy was a close personal friend of Geraldine Connor’s and worked as her P.A for the duration of the Carnival Messiah project at Harewood House in 2007.

David Hamilton

David Hamilton is a Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Artistic Director and founder of the Phoenix Dance Theatre (1980s), RJC Dance (1990s) and Regeyeshun (2000’s). David worked alongside Geraldine Connor as both a performer and choreographer for Carnival Messiah and has been heavily involved with the Foundation throughout many of our projects. David has worked in South Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad, France and Spain and specialises in Reggae Contemporary Dance.

Sheila Howarth

Sheila Howarth is a teacher, community Ambassador and a costume maker for Leeds West Indian Carnival. Sheila was named Leeds Most Inspiring Teacher two years running (2015, 2016) for her ability to be a role model and reach out to young people. Sheila has sat as a member of the board for the Leeds West Indian Carnival. In 2014 the Sea Dragon costume designed by Sheila and Raymond Wilkes won the Carnival Queen title, then in 2016, the pair also won the titles for Prince, Princess, King and Queen, the first time a designer has won all four titles. A long-time friend of Geraldine’s Sheila can often be seen showing her support at our workshops and events.


Khadijah Ibrahiim and Claudio Kron (Photo: Brian Slater)
Khadijah Ibrahiim and Claudio Kron (Photo: Brian Slater)
David Lascelles and Christella Litras
Zodwa Nyoni and Joe Williams
Zodwa Nyoni and Joe Williams
Nigel Wong (Photo: Brian Slater) and Kathy Dean
Nigel Wong (Photo: Brian Slater) and Kathy Dean
David Hamilton and Sheila Howarth