the beginning…
Brownbaby began as a very personal project for West London community artist and designer, Toby Laurent Belson. It was whilst he had a permanent stall at the famous Portobello Market that Toby first conceived the brownbaby design as a reflection of being mixed heritage in one of the world’s most famously mixed and diverse communities.

Between 2004-2007, Toby ran children’s art courses with a fellow West London artist, establishing a space in Golborne, North Kensington.
In 2006 he brought the design concept and the educational arts practice together to form brownbaby and plan the first - self-funded - project, delivered in March 2007 to raise awareness of the Bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
mixing is good
Brownbaby is a response to the realities of mixing. Those realities bring people and cultures together and can result in some of the most powerful and far reaching social impacts. Brownbaby exists to acknowledge, celebrate, consider, respond and build upon those impacts.
We believe that mixed communities are the preeminent spaces in which to achieve positive social changes, precisely because of the ways in which those communities build positivity and innovation and address difference and injustice.
We believe that the standard and depth of community arts and community knowledge is as high as any other and ought to be considered as such, regardless of institutional recognition.
There has certainly been a shift in thinking over the 15+ years of brownbaby’s involvement in the voluntary sector and brownbaby continues to push for equity and acknowledgment for community arts and knowledge.

Brownbaby is a responsive grassroots organisation that delivers far beyond its annual budget. We are embedded in our local community and our projects have engaged with creativity, health, education, environment, skills, democracy, trauma and justice.
Being embedded and responsive means that projects often grow organically through community meetings and discussions. We are guided by our community. And in a community like North Kensington that has meant being involved in work that has grown out of a number of community campaigns and, of course, the Grenfell Tower Fire in June 2017.

Please explore our timeline on the home page to see some of the bespoke projects that brownbaby has delivered with community partners over the past 15+ years.
brownbaby is a constituted community group, with the legal form of an Unicorporated Association. We have a small board of trustees who ensure the work of brownbaby meets the following agreed objects
BB’s objects (the Objects) are
• An overall commitment to educating and otherwise supporting all people (“Target
Group”) from mixed communities in London.

• BB intends to plan and run arts based projects (“Projects”) which will provide the Target
Group with creative opportunities and skills.

• BB intends to plan and run projects which will support the Target Group through
community development and advocacy.

• Projects will seek to raise the awareness and knowledge of Britain’s increasingly
complex and diverse heritage.

• Projects will stimulate and encourage a forward thinking and pro-active outlook to both
the local and global environment. Equal emphasis is on the individual’s and the
community’s abilities to affect and protect the environment.

• Projects plan to assist schools and communities to actively acknowledge and celebrate
their local area.

• BB presents an honest and open account of history and culture, fostering within the
Target Group a confident outlook which is enquiring and open-minded.

• BB uses the Arts to promote and implement healthy living, physical, mental and

• BB encourages the Target Group to seek, discover and further their own potential
through enjoyment of and participation in the Arts above and beyond the National

The Arts can be defined as (but are not limited to): Visual Arts, Design, Performing Arts,
Language Arts, Culinary Arts and Physical Arts.
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