Our Director here at Centrala Alicja Kaczmarek is a finalist in this year’s Birmingham Awards 2023.

Alicja conceptualised and co-founded Centrala over 14 years ago and works hard everyday to make sure it is the supportive community entity/art gallery/entertainment venue and gathering place that you know and love.

The awards are billed as a unique opportunity to highlight and recognise the ongoing contributions of Birmingham’s citizens, recognising the unsung heroes that make the city the gem that it is. And you can vote for Alicja! Just click here:

https://www.birminghamawards.co.uk/vote-now/ and go to the Community Champion section.

Alicja’s dedication to community development, social action and social justice, is rooted in years of professional experience and involvement in promotion of equality and human rights. Alicja has a degree in Sociology from Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and an MA in Social Policy from the University of Birmingham.  Alicja moved to the UK in 2004 where she first worked as a community support worker focusing on social inclusion and later became a CBT therapist working at NHS before taking role as CEO of Centrala full time in 2015. 

Since Centrala was launched in 2014 under Alicja’s leadership, it carved its way to international acclaim as a recognised centre for CEE artists. It’s the only publicly-funded gallery of its kind in the UK and the only organisation providing advocacy for CEE artists and migrants. Alicja’s work focuses on innovation, policy,  inclusive projects design and planning, research implementation, and international development and migrant integration. Alicja is always representing migrant communities and advocating for migrant rights, recently providing guidance and led on Covid response and took a organised fund-raising , crisis response and support which then turned into ongoing support services for Ukrainians fleeing war.