Caroline O’Neill – Strategic Arts & Culture Manager, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Shortlisted in the 2018 Hearts for the Arts Awards for Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer.

Caroline is an inspiring leader of the arts service within Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCT CBC), who constantly and consistently advocates for the value of the arts in improving lives of individuals and communities at every opportunity afforded to and sought out by her.

She has dialogue with and access to the Chief Executive and speaks eloquently at Cabinet level, as well as being able to influence the thinking of her peers and more senior Council officers when it comes to including the arts in their thinking process and utilising them as a means to deliver on different service outcomes.

She has ensured that the arts are recognised and, more importantly considered, within the Council when it comes to meeting corporate aims and objectives e.g. recycling, obtaining Theatre Technician apprenticeships from the Council’s corporate Apprenticeship programme, securing  capital investment for essential improvements to theatres, developing the Welsh language customer facing service provision and then on-going achievement of being commissioned, through Welsh Government Families First funding, for youth arts and creative industries provision are all testimony to her unstinting and unwavering  effort in such a challenging economic climate.

Caroline is extremely personable and comfortable as a team player and is very good at putting people at ease. All this contributes very well to her adeptness  at forming strategic relationships and partnerships within and outside  the Council.

As the lead officer for ArtsConnect (the regional collaboration of six local authority arts services in South Wales) Caroline represents both RCT and ArtsConnect at Chief Culture and Leisure Officers Wales (CCLOW, the equivalent to CcLOA).

Caroline is always seeking new ways to secure resources for arts initiatives that  contribute to community cohesion and improve individual well-being, for example Forte Music Development Project, as one of the 23 (only) PRS for Music Foundation’s Talent Development Partners and Petra the Penguin, the literacy skills development project in RCT Communities First. In that sense she is able to point to the positive changes that have been made for young  people and their families across RCT, in some of the most deprived communities in Wales.

What the judges had to say:

“The variety of initiatives and the influence beyond her council boundary make her a strong contender.” Local Government Association



Mae rhestr fer wedi cael ei chyhoeddi ar gyfer gwobrau ‘Hearts For The Arts’ 2018 y National Campaign for the Arts. Mae’r gwobrau’n dathlu gwaith Cynghorau, Cynghorwyr a Swyddogion y Cyngor sydd wedi goresgyn heriau ariannol i sicrhau bod y celfyddydau yn aros yng nghanol bywyd cymunedol.

Cafodd Caroline O’Neill ac Anne Hayes o Sir Rhondda Cynon Taf eu henwebu ar gyfer gwobr yr Hyrwyddwr Celfyddydau Gorau o fewn Awdurdod Lleol – Swyddog.

Cafodd enwebiadau eu derbyn ar gyfer gwobrau mewn pedwar categori: Y Fenter Orau yn y Celfyddydau gan Awdurdod Lleol, Yr Hyrwyddwr Celfyddydau Gorau o fewn Awdurdod Lleol – Cynghorydd, Yr Hyrwyddwr Celfyddydau Gorau o fewn Awdurdod Lleol – Swyddog, a’r Prosiect Celfyddydau Awdurdod Lleol Gorau sy’n Hyrwyddo Cydlynu Cymunedol. Eleni, cafodd yr ymgyrch fwy o enwebiadau nag erioed o’r blaen ac o bob un o’r pedair gwlad yn y DU.

Cafodd y rhestr fer ei dyfarnu gan gynrychiolwyr partneriaid  ar gyfer gwobrau eleni: UK Theatre, Arts Development UK, Culture Counts, y Gymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol, a What Next?.

Wrth drafod enwebiad Caroline O’Neill, dywedodd y Gymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol:

“Mae ei hamrywiaeth o fentrau a’i dylanwad y tu hwnt i ffin ei chyngor yn ei gwneud hi’n gystadleuydd cryf.”

Wrth drafod enwebiad Anne Hayes, dywedodd Culture Counts:

“Mae Anne yn eiriolwr gwych dros y celfyddydau yn Rhondda Cynon Taf.”  

Mae Gwobrau Hearts For The Arts 2018 yn cael eu cyflwyno gan NCA a UK Theatre, mewn partneriaeth â Culture Counts, y Gymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol, Arts Development UK a What Next?.

Bydd enillwyr Gwobrau Hearts for the Arts 2018 yn cael eu cyhoeddi ddydd Mercher 14 Chwefror. Beirniaid yr enillwyr ar gyfer gwobrau 2018 fydd: Samuel West (Cadeirydd yr NCA), Rachel Wood (Swyddog Datblygu’r Celfyddydau dros Gyngor Bwrdeistref Oldham ac enillydd 2017), Roy Williams, OBE (Dramodydd ac Aelod o Fwrdd NCA), Phillip Pullman (Awdur) a David Lan (Dramodydd a Chyfarwyddwr).

Am ragor o wybodaeth ar yr enwebeion ar y rhestr fer ewch i

Dosbarthwyd gan:

National Campaign for the Arts, UKTheatre

Mewn partneriaeth â:

What Next?, Local Government Association, Culture Counts, Arts Development UK