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Badass Women at Any Age

Jun 16, 2020

Danielle Brazell is the General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, reporting directly to the Mayor and leading a full-time staff of 85 and part-time staff of 200. Danielle talks about how she overcame obstacles in her upbringing to recenter herself towards a life full of meaning and passion. She shares how she became involved in the arts and made a career for herself helping others share their love of arts and culture. Danielle and I then talk about how arts have been affected in the pandemic, and ways they are reinventing the wheel to adjust to the current situation. 


What You Will Hear in This Episode: 

  • Danielle had a multitude of health problems at birth, and the fight to be alive gave her a strong will and a solid sense of morality and integrity.
  • A good friend got Danielle to sign up for school again after she had dropped out, and her teacher made a big impact on her life by providing a safe and respectful environment where she could dream big and express herself.
  • Danielle had a wake-up call in her mid 30’s and decided she needed to consciously strategize and reimagine what was possible for her, using the tools and knowledge and passion for the arts to make a real difference.
  • It is so comfortable to stay in our comfort zone, but growing is really what pushes us forward.
  • Not only did Danielle take a plunge in her career, but she bungee jumped and yes, it is as scary (but thrilling) as it seems!
  • Danielle and her amazing team are providing relief for artists and creating virtual events to make sure art is as available and as supported as possible during the pandemic. While there have been some substantial budget cuts, she feels confident that they will recover and reimagine their own future.



  • “I’m driven by a strong sense of belief and meaning.”
  • “It is so comfortable to stay where we are, but it becomes uncomfortable to stay where we are.” 
  • “Public health includes mental health, and we need cultural arts to get through this.” 



City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs 

Arts for LA

Highways Performance Space