Hearts for the Arts Awards

Zerritha Brown

Brent London Borough Council


Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker 2022

Zerritha Brown

What our judges said:

"Zerritha has a unique gift of putting communities at the heart of her work. No Bass Like Home sounds like a truly beautiful project drawing upon Brent’s rich heritage. Championing the black community at such a time has created a sense of pride by telling untold stories through music to a wider audience. Zerritha ensures that arts are visible across the entire organisation."
"Zerritha Brown is an impressive person who has worked very hard to champion the cultural history and presence of the local community, and who responded sensitively to the new demands of the pandemic (for example - by putting No Bass Like Home online; and liaising compassionately with emergency grant recipients). Zerritha’s socially engaged cultural programme seems effective and dynamic, and her work with the Brent artist network and her lead on the Creative Alliance should be praised."
"A brilliant nomination. I know Brent well, having grown up on its border and know that, at a glance, it can seem like a melting pot but the understanding, effort and vision Zerritha clearly has, has been needed to bind different communities in Brent together and create the community feel that goes beyond the doorstep. No wonder Raheem Stirling wore his #boyfrombrent hashtag with such pride during the Euros!"
"At a time when all arts organisations are talking about diversity and inclusivity, Zerritha has clearly managed to create real, meaningful change, using arts projects to facilitate an open dialogue between the council and black communities. I have huge respect for her passion for giving voice to those who have been marginalised. It’s also brilliant to read that Zerritha has managed to embed the creative arts into the day-to-day priorities of her colleagues in different sectors."
"It is clear Zerritha lives and breathes her work. She demonstrates a deep understanding of how music, the arts and culture can truly effect people’s everyday lives and sense of community and as a result the programmes she has supported and enabled have had real impact on real lives."
"I wish I’d seen and heard No Bass Like Home, both because it has one of the best titles of anything I’ve ever heard of, and because it sounds raucous. Zerritha’s support for those grant recipients fighting to understand our new reality in the last few years and her incredible passion are clearly quite quite wonderful."
"It's ten years since the Brent Cultural Olympiad, but Zerritha Brown shows no signs of slowing down. In fact she's clearly at the height of her powers. The handling of culture fund projects in a pandemic is exceptionally sensitive; it's a tribute to Zerritha's skill that both sides emerged with their relationship not just intact, but strengthened. Every great project needs a great producer to make it flower; Zerritha's leadership of No Bass Like Home was exemplary. Her belief in the power of art to inspire a community runs through everything she does."
"How lucky is Brent to have Zerritha! She’s clearly an amazing advocate for the arts, and that rare beast who is able to think and act strategically as well as deliver on the ground. Her work to build relationships inside the council and between it and local artists, activists and arts organisations is clearly the heartbeat of much of what goes on locally. It’s also really heartening to see the extent of the legacy of the No Bass Like Home project she led. Amazing work!"
"Zerritha’s work sounds really outstanding. She is genuinely out there working with communities, actively championing the arts and embedding the work of her organisation in the lives of the people they aim to serve. The approach has been driven by the community, collaboration and a supportive way of engaging with those who receive funding. More of this kind of work across the UK would work wonders!"

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2022 nominees