Meet me at the Albany © Roswitha Chesher
© Roswitha Chesher

London Borough of Lewisham announced as WINNER of Hearts for the Arts Award

London Borough of Lewisham wins Best Local Authority Arts Project encouraging community cohesion for Meet Me At The Albany.

What Next? and the National Campaign for the Arts have come together to create the Hearts for the Arts Awards, a new initiative to reward and thank Councils, Councillors and Council officers who are overcoming financial challenges to ensure the arts stay at the centre of community life.

The winner of Best Local Authority Arts Project encouraging community cohesion, announced at noon on Saturday 11 February, is the London Borough of Lewisham for Meet Me at The Albany.

Meet Me at the Albany grew out of a question shared by Lewisham senior managers with two local arts partners, the Albany and Entelechy Arts: what if frail, isolated older people had the opportunity to go to an arts centre instead of a day centre? Three years later there are now over 100 isolated older people engaged in arts activity on a weekly basis. The journalist Tanya Gold wrote: ‘This is either a unique experiment in provision for the elderly, if you write like a bureaucrat, or something as lovely and hopeful as a poem.’

One of our judges, David Lan, commented, “This project meets a need in an active, positive, imaginative, sustainable way.”

The next Hearts for the Arts Award, winner of Best Local Authority Arts Initiative, will be announced tomorrow at midday.