Mary-Venetia Genis is the founder and artistic director of CultureMix Arts.
Her inspiration and drive comes from her passion for music, art and culture.
In 1997 Mary collaborated with Mangrove leader Matthew Phillip to set up a community steel band project in Reading Berkshire. The band was named Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO) in honour of Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra's historic performance at the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Today the company is one of the UK's leading lights in professional carnival music entertainment, education and arts development fulfilling Mary's vision to offer vocational training and realistic employment opportunities in a growing creative industry.
Supported by her creative team Mary works tirelessly to develop RASPO musicians, advocate the schools education programme, negotiate partnerships and ensure the company continues to raise its level of expertise and professionalism.
In 2009 Mary received a Cultural Champion Pride of Reading Award from Chris Tarrant for her ground breaking work with Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra.