14 Oct 2019

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Hearts for the Arts Awards, celebrating local authority and cultural trust arts champions and community culture projects.

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The Awards are an initiative of the National Campaign for the Arts, which advocates greater public investment in the arts to improve the lives of people across the UK. The awards are delivered by UK Theatre, and judged by a panel of leading arts figures (this year's judges to be announced). 

From 10 October until voting closes on 8 November, Members of the public, arts professionals, local authorities and cultural trusts can visit the Hearts for the Arts Awards webpage to put nominations forward in five categories:

  • Best Arts Initiative
  • Best Arts Project - Community Cohesion
  • Best Arts Project - Arts, Health and Wellbeing
  • Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker
  • Best Arts Champion - Councillor

This year, changes have been made to include the activities of cultural trusts working on be- half of local authorities. The National Campaign for the Arts is keen to recognise those who have used trust status to enhance arts provision and benefit local people. 

A new award has been added, 'Best Arts Project - Arts, Health and Wellbeing', recognising projects that have had a positive impact on mental and physical health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. 

And the Best Arts Champion category has been opened up to allow nominations for any local authority or cultural trust worker; nominations are encouraged from all areas. 

The awards will be presented by Samuel West, actor and Chair of the NCA, at the Local Government Association's Culture, Tourism and Sport Conference on 3 March, the largest annual gathering of councillors and officers involved with culture, tourism and sport. In addition, Samuel West has offered to speak at a council meeting of each recipient, accompanied by a celebrated fellow performer or creative with a local connection. 

Samuel West said:

'A thriving local arts scene makes us all healthier and happier. In these days of ever harder financial decisions, we at the National Campaign for the Arts are delighted to reward those who bring the most interesting, innovative and effective cultural projects to life. It's more important than ever that we recognise the incredible contributions of the individuals behind the scenes: that's what the Hearts for the Arts awards are all about'.

The 2019 Hearts for the Arts Awards winners were Torbay Council's Torbay Tattoo Tales project, Middlesbrough Council's immersive theatre production Erimus, Middlesbrough Mayor David Budd and Kirklees Council Officer Kirstie Wilson. 

The 2020 Hearts For The Arts Awards will be delivered in partnership with Culture Counts, the Local Government Association, TheatreNI, Thrive, Voluntary Arts Wales and Wales Council for Voluntary Action

For more information, or to make a Hearts For The Arts Awards nomination, visit fortheart- s.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts