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Mar 7, 2023

Jon Bickley talks to arts and community leader Sharon de Leonardis for an ongoing podcast series marking the 250th anniversary of the writing of Amazing Grace. Its author John Newton was a slave trader and later an abolitionist. We all know that Amazing Grace is universally loved but how do we view the slave trade today? We ask three people of Caribbean descent how it impacts on their lives even now.

Sharon is CEO of Spectacularts, a Bedford based arts and events organisation. Previously she established and led the 2step Dance Company and mentored several of her dancers to international careers. On 26th March 2023 she is hosting Bedford’s first memorial service honouring the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade on the International Day of Remembrance. 'This memorial event will honour and pay tribute to our ancestors whilst recognising the cycles of uprising and the necessary, continuous struggle for rights and equality. We look forward to growing and sharing this event annually.'

Sharon's energy and enthusiasm elevates and inspires everyone around her.