Hearts for the Arts

Through this annual award, we recognise those local authorities who invest the most in the joy, excitement and life-enriching quality of the arts.

A National Campaign for the Arts initiative.

Delivered by UK Theatre

In partnership with Arts Development UK, Culture Counts, Local Government Association, and What Next?

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 Hearts For The Arts Awards.

 

Best Local Authority Arts Project encouraging community cohesion:

Denbighshire County Council, Lost in Art

 

Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor:

Councillor Cliff Morris, Bolton Council

 

Best Local Authority Arts Initiative:

I.AM.NOT.A.ROBOT, Plymouth City Council

 

Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer:

Lorna Lee, London Borough of Waltham Forest

 

Our Chair Samuel West presented two of our winners with their awards in March 2018 at the Local Government Association Culture, Tourism and Sport conference. 

Click here to read Sam’s conference speech – “I’m not here to preach to the choir.  I am here to praise them”

The remaining winners have chosen to have their award presentations later this year at local ceremonies.

 

 

Nominations were received for awards in four categories:

  1. Best Local Authority Arts Initiative
  2. Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor
  3. Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer
  4. Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion

Find out more about all of the 2018 nominees. Watch the 2017 Liverpool presentation.

Read our FAQs in English or Welsh.

Councils have been the unsung heroes of arts funding for decades. Town Halls across the nation are under unprecedented pressure to reduce budgets and deal with increased demands in areas such as social care, but even so our analysis shows the arts have been cut disproportionately in the last five years compared to council services overall (despite the fact that investment in the arts accounts on average for less than ½p in every £1 spent by local authorities in England).

But this is not true everywhere.  Some Local Authorities really understand the importance of the arts to the wellbeing of local communities and the value that this small but crucial investment brings. Our Hearts for the Arts Awards will shine a spotlight on councils and individual officers and Councillors who are overcoming financial challenges to ensure the arts are at the centre of community life.

 

The shortlisted nominees were:

Best Local Authority Arts Initiative

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council: Art in the public realm programme
Plymouth City Council: I.AM.NOT.A.ROBOT
Milton Keynes Council: MK50
Cambridge City Council: Activate
Herefordshire Council: Early Hurly Burly

Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor

Stoke-on-Trent City Council: Councillor Abi Brown
Milton Keynes Council: Councillor Liz Gifford
Oxford City Council: Councillor Bob Price
Bolton Council: Councillor Cliff Morris
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council: Councillor Janet Emsley

Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council: Caroline O’Neill
London Borough of Waltham Forest: Lorna Lee
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council: Anne Hayes
Norfolk County Council: Mary Muir
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham: Lena Smith
Bolton Council: Stephen Young

Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion

Oxford City Council: Journeys to Oxford at the Museum of Oxford
Calderdale Council: Landlines and Watermarks
Denbighshire County Council: Lost in Art
Manchester City Council: Manchester Day
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council: The Creative Citizens Programme