14 Jan 2020

The shortlist has been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) Hearts For The Arts Awards 2020. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts, often within a climate of severe financial challenges.

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Nominations were received from across the UK for each of the four award categories: Best Arts Initiative; Best Arts Project - Community Cohesion; Best Arts Project - Arts, Health and Wellbeing; Best Arts Champion; and Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker Best Arts Champion - Councillor. 

The shortlist was judged by representatives from some of this year's partners in the awards: Culture Counts, Local Government Association, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, National Campaign for the Arts, UK Theatre and Voluntary Arts Wales. 

Samuel West, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, said: 

'What a shortlist. We were delighted to receive so many nominations from across the UK, and we'd like to thank our partners this year for working so hard to make this happen.

'The breadth of projects and people nominated show that the arts are well-rooted in our communities, despite increasingly difficult times for local authority funding.

'I am so happy that Hearts For The Arts is able to celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and tenacity of those on this year's shortlists.'

The shortlists are: 

  • Best Arts Initiative
    • Arts Train - Bromley / My time Active
    • People Power Passion - Luton Borough Council
    • Plymouth Music Zone - Plymouth City Council
    • Wirral Borough of Culture - Wirral Borough Council 
  • Best Arts Project - Community Cohesion
    • AND Dream - Ards and North Down Borough Council
    • Happy Street Festival & Thessaly Road Bridge - London Borough of Wandsworth
    • Performing Places Bexley - London Borough of Bexley
    • Windrush Generations Festival - Hackney Council
  • Best Arts Project - Arts, Health and Wellbeing
    • Making It - Three Rivers District Council
    • Moments in time - Fife Cultural Trust
    • Open Arts - Essex County Council
    • Outside Edge Theatre Company - Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster and Chelsea
  • Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker
    • Alison Fogg - Colchester Borough Council
    • Gordon Dalton - Middlesbrough Council
    • Jayne Knight - Suffolk County Council
    • Pauline Smeaton - Fife Cultural Trust
  • Best Arts Champion - Councillor
    • Councillor Judith Blake - Leeds City Council
    • Councillor Luthfur Rahman - Manchester City Council
    • Councillor Rachel Hopkins - Luton Borough Council
    • Councillor Steffi Sutters - Wandsworth Borough Council

The winners of the Hearts For The Arts Awards 2020 will be announced on Valentine's Day, 14 February. The winners will be selected from the shortlist by a panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including: 

  • Susie Dent: lexicographer, etymologist, host of Countdown's 'Dictionary Corner'
  • Gary Kemp: actor, musician, songwriter, founder member of Spandau Ballet
  • Julie Hesmondhalgh: actress, activist
  • Alom Shaha: Physics teacher, dad, author ofMr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder
  • Errollyn Wallen CBE, composer
  • Kirstie Wilson: Kirklees Council, winner 2019 Hearts for the Arts Best Local Authority Arts Champion - Officer
  • Samuel West, actor, director, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts 

The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts For The Arts Awards each year. The awards are delivered by UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts; the Local Government Association; Thrive; Theatre NI, Voluntary Arts Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action. 

For more information on the shortlisted nominees visit forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts/