Nelson Fernandez is an arts producer, arts management trainer, and cultural facilitator with experience of working in dozens of countries throughout the world. During his long career as an artist and producer he has worked with UK organisations of every conceivable size and profile in the fields of dance, drama, and opera such as the UK’s Ballet Rambert, the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Opera, the National Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Thamesdown Dance Agency, Dance Umbrella festival as well as Koln Tanz Forum (Germany), Louis Falco Dance Company (Italy), and many others.
In 1997, he joined British Council and was seconded to Visiting Arts, a UK Government agency founded in 1977 which supports artistic exchange and intercultural dialogue between the UK and the rest of the world. As one of Visiting Arts’ three directors, with responsibility for Cultural Operations, Nelson had responsibility for the development of a broad spectrum of arts management and cultural leadership programmes dealing with the visual and performing arts. He also conceptualised and produced many seminars and symposia in partnership with organisations such as British Council, the Open Society Institute, Arts Council England, Ford Foundation and many others. These programmes were delivered in many countries and regions, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Russia, Tanzania, Ukraine, as well as Central Asia, all of Central and Eastern Europe, and Southern Africa. He left Visiting Arts in 2008 to set up his own consultancy, NFA International Arts and Culture.
As an independent consultant, Nelson has worked with a variety of organisations including the British Council; the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport; the Emirates Foundation Abu Dhabi; the Southbank Centre London; the Virasat Foundation in Rajasthan India; the Cultural Olympiad of the London Olympic Games 2012; the V&A Museum London; the Edinburgh International Festival; Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre initiative; the UK’s National Youth Theatre; Akademi South Asian dance agency London; the Fadjr Festival Tehran; Relais Culture Europe Paris; ArThinkSouthAsia Delhi; and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, Kuwait. In addition, he has been Scottish Dance Theatre’s International Producer since 2009.
Nelson is a regular speaker at seminars, conferences, and symposia on issues relating to the arts, arts management, cultural policy and diplomacy, and intercultural dialogue. He has led or taught in many arts management training courses in the UK, Central and Eastern Europe, Iran, India, China, Oman and a number of other countries. He is a Trustee of Brighton Festival & Dome Ltd., and ATC Theatre Company; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Chevalier of France’s Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He was awarded an OBE for services to the arts in the June 2009 Birthday Honours List.