Hearts for the arts

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

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 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.

From a truly inspirational group of nominations, we are delighted to announce the shortlist for the inaugural National Campaign for the Arts/What Next? Hearts for the Arts Awards.

The judging panel comprised of Assistant Principal (London) of King’s College London and former Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Deborah Bull, visual artist Bob & Roberta Smith, playwright and director David Lan, musician Chi-chi Nwanoku, comedian and writer AL Kennedy and actor and director Samuel West.

Wordpool Family Day © CJ Griffiths

Hearts for the Arts Awards 2017 Winners & Nominees

Best Local Authority Arts Initiative:

WINNER: Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Performing Arts Library Service (NPALS)

Shortlisted nominees:

View the list of all nominees

Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor:

WINNER: Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool City Council

Shortlisted nominees:

View the list of all nominees

Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer:

JOINT WINNER: Pokuaa Osei, London Borough of Haringey
JOINT WINNER: Rachel Wood, Oldham Borough Council

Shortlisted nominees:

View the list of all nominees

Best Local Authority Arts Project encouraging community cohesion:

WINNER: London Borough of Lewisham, Meet Me at the Albany

Shortlisted nominees:

View the list of all nominees

Nominations were received for awards in four categories: Best Local Authority Arts Initiative, Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor, Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer, and Best Local Authority Arts Project encouraging community cohesion. Winners were announced in February 2017.


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