Hearts for the Arts FAQ’s

1 What is Hearts for The Arts? 

Hearts for the Arts is an awards initiative which recognises and celebrates exceptional Local Government support for the arts, carried out by Councils, Councillors and Council officers.  In financially challenging times, some Local Authorities really understand the importance of the arts to the well being of local communities and the value this small but crucial investment brings.

2 When did it start? 

Hearts for the Arts began in October 2016. 

3 Who is involved? 

Hearts for the Arts is an initiative run by National Campaign for the Arts, delivered by UK Theatre and National Campaign for the Arts, in partnership with Local Government Association (LGA), What Next?, Culture Counts and Arts Development UK (AD:UK). 

4 How is it funded? 

The costs associated with the awards are covered by the National Campaign for the Arts, which is a registered charity, funded by donations from the public and industry organisations.  Support in kind is provided by UK Theatre and other partner organisations.   

5 What are the award categories? 

There are four award 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 

6 Who can be nominated? 

For the Councillor and Officer awards, an individual whose work influences and encourages arts activities within their council area can be nominated.  These activities must be done as direct work for the county, district, borough, city council or Cultural Trust (in Scotland) which employs them.  For the Initiative and Community Cohesion awards, a project or initiative created or delivered by a county, district, borough, city council or Cultural Trust can be nominated.  

7 Who can nominate?/ Is there anyone that can’t nominate? 

Anyone can make a nomination! You could be a member of the public who has had interaction with an individual or council arts project, or be an employee of a council, or colleague of someone you really think deserves the award.  

8 How do I nominate?  

You can nominate a project or person by filling out a nomination form at http://forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts/  

9 What if I need more space than the 500 words allowed to describe why I am making my nomination?

Whilst this may be more than enough space for many, if you would like to send more detail than this allows, you can email any additional information to hello@forthearts.org.uk, indicating which nomination this should be attributed to.

10 Can I make more than one nomination? 

There is no limit to the number of nominations you can make, but please make sure you submit a separate nomination form for each. 

11 What are the timelines / major milestones for this year’s awards? 

The nominations open on Wednesday 27th September and close at midnight on Monday 20th of November. The shortlist will be announced in January, and the final winners will be announced on Valentine’s Day 2018! (So we can show our winners some love!) 

12 What is the judging process? 

From the nominations, officers from the National Campaign for the Arts will create a longlist of nominees.  From this our judges will consider the merits of each nominee, based upon the criteria in the application form and a scoring system, which will determine the shortlist and winner for each category.  

13 Who are the judges? 

Sam West- Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts 


 14 How will the winners be recognised? 

The winners will each be presented with their Hearts for the Arts award at a full council meeting (or similar event at their home council) by an arts celebrity, giving an excellent opportunity to generate local and national media coverage for the winner. 

15 Who are previous winners? 

Last years winners can be found here.

16 Will there be one for 2019? 

After a hugely positive response in our first year we hope to make these awards a yearly fixture with gathering momentum, to really let the people with the power to make decisions about how public money is spent, know what a difference investment in the arts can have.  

17 How can my organisation help? 

You can really help us by getting the message about the awards out there!  We want lots of nominations from all UK nations, and following the shortlist and winners’ announcements, we want to make a big song and dance about the fantastic work they do!  Make sure you follow us on Twitter @weareforthearts and Facebook facebook.com/weareforthearts  to share their good  news.

The National Campaign for the Arts also has a Platinum Supporter scheme, from which the £45 donated per month will cover the costs of one of the awards ceremonies.  You can join our supporters scheme at  forthearts.org.uk/support-us, or get in touch with us if you want to help in any other way.  

18 Who should I contact for more information? 

For further information about the Hearts for the Arts awards, or the National Campaign for the Arts, please email hello@forthearts.org.uk 

We are also on Twitter at @weareforthearts and using #HeartsfortheArts and #UnsungHeroes