Dr Mercy Nabirye


“My first encounter with Upswing’s work was back in 2012 at a meeting somewhere in East London, where I met Artistic Director Vicki Amedume. I was impressed to know about a Black-led organisation dedicated to Circus in a contemporary context! I have been a fan ever since experiencing some of their great productions. I look forward to contributing to Upswing’s growth, sharing my experience of working with diverse arts, artists and creatives who continually feed me new knowledge both in the UK and globally.”

Dr Mercy Nabirye is a consultant and creative producer for African Diaspora arts and founding Director of Kauma Arts which works with individuals and organisations to connect communities globally, raise profiles, the practice and awareness of diverse arts.  She is a fellow of the Windsor Leadership; and also The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (FRSA). She is a Trustee on several boards in the UK, USA and the African continent. Her career portfolio includes Arts Council England, One Dance UK/ADAD (Association of Dance of the African Diaspora), Royal Borough of Greenwich Council, Birmingham Royal Ballet UK and Apples and Snakes – a literary performance poetry organisation in UK.

Mercy’s speaking engagements globally include topics on art, culture, creative exchange and global markets as well as Diversity, Inclusion, Intersectionality, Equality, Equity and Access. Commissions include UNESCO Transcultura program; Caribbean South South Collective; Pan African Creative Exchange-PACE; Afrika Speaks; We are West Midlands: working towards an equitable dance future; Salzburg Global seminar think tank; Society for Dance Research symposium; Collective of Performing Arts Movement Ontario in Canada; and more. 

Born in Uganda and currently a local of London England, Mercy’s artistic background is Performing Arts, Music, Dance, Drama, Film, Photography and Literature. The combination of her creative and strategic leadership skills and experience working with remits to make change, nurture and raise profiles over many years enables her to lead with empathy and authenticity. In September 2021, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from The University of East London, in recognition of her achievements.

Learn more about Kauma Arts here.


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