What We Do

Sampad is a charity founded by Piali Ray OBE in 1990 to promote South Asian arts and culture. Over the years, we have collaborated with numerous artists to bring their unique voices and talents to audiences across the UK and beyond.

We are committed to promoting and encouraging British Asian arts to progress, break new ground and enrich mainstream culture in the UK. Our work covers various art forms inspired by diverse cultures and traditions, including dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and literature.

Our dance programme has been praised for its innovation and excellence. We have commissioned and co-produced works from award-winning artists such as Aakash Odedra, Akademi, and Shobana Jeyasingh. We have also organised South Asian dance performances, workshops, and talks across the UK, including with Birmingham International Dance Festival.

Sampad’s music programme celebrates a range of South Asian musical styles, including classical, folk, and contemporary genres. We have worked with acclaimed musicians such as Reena Bhardwaj, Susheela Raman, and Kuljit Bhamra. Our music education programme works with schools, universities and community groups to offer workshops, masterclasses, and performances.

We champion the development and production of new work by British Asian playwrights, such as Sudha Bhuchar and Roy Williams OBE. We have also worked with international companies such as the National Theatre of Bangladesh to bring exciting and diverse theatre experiences to audiences in the UK.

Visual arts are playing an increasingly significant role in our work, with exhibitions showcasing the work of artists from South Asia and the UK. We have organised exhibitions and installations in galleries and museums, including the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and the British Museum. In 2022, we led on the exhibition From City of Empire to City of Diversity: A Visual Journey, part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games programme.

Our literature programme celebrates the rich literary heritage of South Asia and supports the development of new British Asian writing. Published in English, Urdu and Bangla, MY CITY, MY HOME is a ground-breaking publication featuring 184 poems, short-stories and other prose from writers, and those new to writing, reflecting on the identity and the role of women in 21st century society.

We work with artists from diverse backgrounds and offer opportunities for emerging artists to develop their skills and careers, by offering training and bursaries. Our engagement projects works with communities across the UK, providing access to the arts and promoting social cohesion and our Sampad Associate Schools Scheme connects young people with South Asian arts and heritage.

We are committed to promoting and showcasing the rich cultural heritage of South Asia, as well as the creativity and innovation of British Asian artists. We are proud of our role in contributing to the cultural landscape of the UK and look forward to continuing to do so in the future.