Steel City Sofa: Meet Melanin Fest founder Annalisa Toccara

Annalisa Toccara is an award-winning cultural producer and freelance marketer who is passionate about gender equality, social inclusion & representation.She is the founder of social enterprise Our Mel and Melanin Fest.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 01 April, 2019, 16:38

Annalisa joined us on the Steel City Sofa last week to talk about her busy life managing Our Mel, planning Melanin Fest and studying for a masters degree.

Chatting behind the camera, she said: “There’s not that much that happens in Sheffield for people of colour. There’s only one festival on the Sheffield train station board for people of colour.

Steel City Sofa with Annalisa Toccara. Picture: Chris Etchells

“If we’re calling ourselves the city of festivals, there needs to be more.”

Annalisa spoke of her upbringing and how it has made her the woman she is today.

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She said: “When I was little I was always told I was black and I was told I was Jamaican.

“When I told my mum we were learning about Florence Nightingale in school, she told them we should be learning about Mary Seacole too.

“It feels to me that there are a lot of people who are lost in their identity.”

Watch the full interview with Annalisa above in Steel City Sofa, episode three.