Hearts for the Arts 2021 Shortlist – Claudia Cartwright

Mole Valley District Council's Claudia Cartwright has been shortlisted for Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker in the 2021 Hearts for the Arts Awards.

Claudia Cartwright is Arts Development Officer for Mole Valley District. Working in the Communities and Wellbeing Department, she is responsible for the Council’s provision of the arts in all aspects of the community.

This year, Claudia has produced ‘Arts E-Live’ using a virtual platform to engage residents online. Previously this has been delivered as Arts Alive – an annual in-person festival, but Claudia refused to give up on it this year and enthusiastically made a success of the festival online. This involved working with a vast array of arts organisations in the district: folk groups, writing groups, poetry groups, artists, performers, theatre groups and more.  In doing so, she has brought the Arts to those who have not been provided for in the past, bringing art into living rooms at a time when few services were available, which has in many cases resulted in engaging higher audience numbers then the regular Arts Alive Festival. Alongside the online festival, Claudia supported an outdoors installation situated at the heart of the community.

Claudia’s knowledge and enthusiasm enables her to advise on what is available in the district and connect with all the various arts bodies in order to then connect with the community. She applies for grants, supports the Arts Alive (and E-Live) Festival, brings facilities for the arts to deprived sections of the community and generally works beyond her brief to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that Arts Alive is one of the jewels in Mole Valley’s crown.

What the judges said:

“Claudia Cartwright has enabled people of all different backgrounds to come together to make art. Everyone is given an opportunity to do something they love and to feel part of the community.”

“Claudia Cartwright is clearly valued by people in her borough. Taking a long-established festival online with very little notice takes a lot, so hats off to Claudia for doing that. And it’s clear that she is a real people person, able to take people with her, encouraging those new to the arts to get involved and those holding the purse strings to fund projects she believes in.”