King’s Birthday Honours List 2024: Dewsbury CEO receives British Empire Medal for services to music

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A Dewsbury CEO and artistic director has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music as part of the King’s Birthday Honours List.

Supriya Nagarajan is one of more than 60 people from Yorkshire and Humberside who have received honours in the 2024 list, which recognises those individuals who have initiated substantial change where it was needed and developed innovative solutions that have had an immeasurable impact on the lives of thousands of people across the country.

The 58-year-old is the founder, chief executive officer and artistic director of Manasamitra, based on Wellington Road in the town, supporting more than 40 artists both locally and nationally, while also mentoring local community artists and school children to help them overcome socio-economic barriers to achieve their goals.

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Giving her reaction, Supriya said: “I am incredibly proud to have been awarded a British Empire Medal and be recognised amongst so many other wonderful individuals.

Supriya Nagarajan has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music as part of the King’s Birthday Honours List.Supriya Nagarajan has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music as part of the King’s Birthday Honours List.
Supriya Nagarajan has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music as part of the King’s Birthday Honours List.

“Through Manasamitra, I am honoured to be able to connect with so many people through arts, helping them to express themselves, experience different cultures, and transport people into a mindful space.

“Music and the arts have allowed me to follow my passion and help others to do the same.

“The arts are so important to our communities here in the UK, I hope that my recognition will help to showcase the importance and value of the arts, here in Yorkshire and across the nation.”

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She has worked with schools and educational establishments and is active in the local community, organising events such as The Festival of Conversations and the Dewsbury “not-the-fringe” Festival to provide a space for local groups and performing artists to showcase their work.

In 2013, she received the National Microsoft Diversity Awards for her contribution to promoting diversity and access to the arts.

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She created the 100 Human Voices project to bring together voices from different schools and districts, while she also supports young female composers from ethnic minority groups with music, composition, starting businesses, marketing, and how to deal with the challenges that young women of colour experience in the music sector.

She also launched the Kirklees Women’s Alliance, which supports women who have experienced domestic violence and forced marriage through female empowerment workshops and activities.

Supriya will be presented with her medal by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire at a ceremony and will be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party.

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