Solihull artist receives British Citizen Award - The Solihull Observer

Solihull artist receives British Citizen Award

Solihull Editorial 27th Jan, 2023   0

A SOLIHULL artist has been given a prestigious award at the Palace of Westminster.

Salma Zulfiqar was handed a British Citizen Award (BCA) for her services to the arts at the House of Lords.

The British Citizen Award is now in its ninth year and recognises exceptional individuals who positively impact their communities.

Dubbed the ‘people’s honours’ because anyone with an OBE, CBE or KBE is ineligible to receive a BCA, the programme recognises community heroes for their positive impact on society.

Salma was one of only 29 individuals to receive the coveted Medal of Honour for endeavours and positive impact on society.

The medal presentation was hosted by TV presenter and BCA patron, Nick Knowles, and attended by another BCA patron, Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, and The Rt Hon Lord Dholakia.

Salma is a British artist and empowers refugees and migrant women through her work.

She developed the ARTconnects to empower vulnerable girls and women in the West Midlands by promoting peace and tolerance to create a better understanding between different cultures through art, while improving mental health.

Salma said: “I feel absolutely humbled to receive this award.

“During these difficult times we face, this award is a reminder that there are so many talented women suffering in silence who need our support to amplify their voices to open the door to opportunities and equality, particularly those from marginalised and refugee backgrounds and those living on the edge of society.

“The need to create tolerant communities has never been greater.”

Since 2017, ARTconnects have held more than 130 workshops and events with 3,800 participants connecting different cultures and creating community cohesion across the UK.

Salma promotes the arts and takes her creative workshops to those most in need.

Her workshops are used to spread awareness and share knowledge around gender equality, climate action, respect, diversity and the promotion of tolerance in society.

Through her work, creative expression and skills are used to help individuals and communities heal from collective trauma and during the pandemic, she expanded online to connect isolated women around the world to learn, exchange and create.


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