Cllr Bob Price

Cllr Bob Price – Oxford City Council

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

Cllr Bob Price has for 34 years championed the arts as a local councillor in Oxford and as Leader of the City Council, and is now retiring from local politics. Bob is a fantastic advocate both locally, nationally (Arts Council England – South East Area councillor / What Next? network) and internationally (Oxford International Links).

Bob has spearheaded innovative funding models for local arts organisations, and has played a key part in supporting the initiation of new organisations and capital projects including the Story Museum, Arts at the Old Fire Station and the Museum of Oxford redevelopment. He devotes his time directly to supporting the arts, and clearly sees culture as a vital driver of regeneration, educational achievement and social inclusion – e.g. his support for Oxford Playhouse working with the council’s Youth Ambition team to deliver drama workshops to excluded young people in East Oxford.

Bob has brokered and encouraged partnerships between cultural organisations and non-cultural organisations who wouldn’t necessarily work together otherwise; developed lasting links internationally with Oxford’s established Twinning project and supported partnership work between Oxford’s cultural organisations at all levels.

Bob has been committed to a number of ambitious projects and festivals that return year after year to bring the community together and celebrate our City, including Oxford Christmas Light Festival and Cowley Road Carnival.

He has fought and succeeded in maintaining arts funding in what remains as a seriously difficult economic climate. Bob has not only ensured that the major institutions are funded, but also supported grassroots and community projects through funding, in-kind support and advocacy.

As well as promoting art and culture as a strategic leader, Bob has also supported the arts personally and is a regular presence at cultural events throughout the City. Bob’s leadership has helped secure a vibrant cultural sector in Oxford which brings in some of the best national and international work across art forms, supports diverse local communities to access and participate in the arts, engages people of all backgrounds and age groups and celebrates the City and all its inhabitants by bringing them closer together.

He is approachable, well informed, attentive and genuinely interested in what the arts can do to make the world a better place. And he delivers repeatedly on all commitments that he makes.

What the judges had to say:

“Bob clearly has a great deal of local support and has made a huge impact on Oxford – both the cultural sector and the community. An excellent leader!” What Next?