Brent Council invests £1million to ensure legacy of Brent 2020

Collage of Brent 2020

The Brent 2020 programme delivered on promises despite the pandemic - Credit: Brent 2020

Free workspace for artists and a new Brent Music Biennial form part of a £1million investment to ensure the legacy of Brent 2020 lives on.

Brent Council has invested the money to support the long-term goal to improve opportunities open to young people in the borough.

The plans will be delivered by Metroland Cultures – a new independent charity tasked to deliver the legacy of Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture in 2020.

Set up by Sadiq Khan in 2017 the London Borough of Culture project shines a light on the character and diversity of the city’s boroughs.

Lois Stonock, artistic director of Brent 2020 and acting director of Metroland Cultures, said: “This is a defining moment for Brent as we look back at what has been achieved during the year of the pandemic, and forwards to delivering a sustained plan for the future.

"Cultural experiences contribute immeasurably to rebuilding communities broken by Covid-19. We cannot create a healthy future for our young people without these experiences.”

Among these plans are 14 visual artists living and working in Brent who will be given free studio space in Kilburn as part of a new year-long residency programme .

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A series of residencies will also be delivered in partnership with Camden Art Centre and The Showroom.

Moving on from the success of the first Art Biennial launched in September last year which saw 23 new artist commissions in libraries, public spaces and on the street, a second Art Biennial will take place next year and 2023 will see the launch of the first Brent Music Biennial.

The Brent 2020 programme was forced to adapt when the Covid virus led to a national lockdown three months after the project launched. 

Brent 2020 collaborated with volunteers, young ambassadors, educators, artists, and community advisors to help deliver on some of its cultural ambitions.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Brent Council leader, said: “From the very beginning we have believed in the power of culture to empower our community. We don’t have the benefit of large cultural institutions in Brent, but what we do have is a vibrant creative community committed to helping others.

"Despite all the challenges, we have never wavered. We have been determined to keep going, providing practical and strategic support for Brent London Borough of Year 2020. 

"I am grateful to everyone involved for their hard work and support.”