Cllr Darren Rodwell
Cllr Darren Rodwell

Hearts for the Arts Shortlist: Councillor Darren Rodwell, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Shortlisted in the inaugural National Campaign for the Arts/What Next? Hearts for the Arts Awards 2017 for Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor.

Councillor Rodwell is an inspirational leader who has recognised – and is highly vocal about – the potential of the arts and culture to improve lives locally, bringing both prosperity and cohesion to local communities.

Examples of his leadership include the transfer of Broadway Theatre to the local FE College, partnering with the Barbican; collaborations with Bow Arts; and development of work-live space with Create London. He has developed plans for Barking & Dagenham to be the first Artist Enterprise Zone in London, with Ice House Court Studios now open. The Mayor of London has commissioned a study into purpose-built film/tv studios in Dagenham.

All of this is enabled by Councillor Rodwell’s exceptional leadership and his core belief in art at the heart of community life.

What the judges had to say:

David Lan, playwright and director: “His belief in art at the heart of communities is an inspiration”