Nominations were received for awards in four categories:
Best Local Authority Arts Initiative
Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor
Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer
Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion
This year the campaign received more nominations than ever before and from all four UK nations.
The nominations were judged by an esteemed panel which was comprised of: Samuel West (Chair of the NCA), Rachel Wood (Arts Development Officer, Oldham Borough Council AND 2017 winner), Roy Williams, OBE (playwright and NCA Board Member), Phillip Pullman (author), David Lan (playwright and director), Josie Long (comedian) and Maria Balshaw (Director of Tate).
The Hearts for the Arts 2018 winners are:
Best Local Authority Arts Initiative: I.AM.NOT.A.ROBOT, Plymouth City Council
Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor: Councillor Cliff Morris, Bolton Council
Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer: Lorna Lee, London Borough of Waltham Forest
Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion: Denbighshire County Council, Lost in Art
Samuel West, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts and 2018 judge said:
“During tough times for arts funding, it’s heartening to hear about local authority initiatives, up and down the country, which put the arts at the centre of people’s lives and bring different departments together with creativity and ambition to make these bold, brilliant ideas work. I’m so grateful to the Councillors and Council Officers, passionate advocates of their communities, who continue to champion these causes; I can’t wait to meet them and thank them personally.”
Philip Pullman, Author and 2018 judge:
“It was inspiring to read the submissions for these awards. I was aware of the few initiatives I know about personally, but it was a huge pleasure to learn about all the wonderful work going into supporting the arts and culture all over the country by organisation and individuals alike. I hope the prizes will encourage the winners and runners-up, and everyone involved in this life-giving work, to see how much their efforts are valued by the communites they live in and the nation as a whole.”
Awards will be presented to the winners by Samuel West later in the year.