HFTA 2020 Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker WINNER – Pauline Smeaton

Congratulations to Pauline Smeaton; winner of this years Hearts for the Arts Award for Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker

As an employee for Fife Cultural Trust, Pauline Smeaton’s passion for literacy and creativity is well recognised within the communities she serves. She has dedicated her 28-year library career to engaging young people in the wonder of books and reading for pleasure.

Pauline has been selected as the winner of Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker in the 2020 Hearts for the Arts Awards. In the words of our judges, here’s why:

Pauline’s commitment to supporting the arts is evident and she is clearly an asset to the community.  Alom Shaha: Physics teacher, dad, author of Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder

Pauline Smeaton is good news! Errollyn Wallen CBE: composer

Pauline is a powerful promoter of literacy and book culture among the young, promoting libraries as well as giving young parents an inspiring place to take their children to encourage their learning and love of words.  Gary Kemp: actor, musician, songwriter, founder member of Spandau Ballet

At a time when so many libraries are closing, it is fantastic to read about Pauline’s above and beyond passion for and commitment to literacy in young people, and more than that:  a love of books and of reading.  Julie Hesmondhalgh: actor, activist

Pauline clearly loves her work and is a passionate advocate for literacy and reading for pleasure, especially among children and young people.  She’s got strong roots within her communities and should be proud of the significant role she’s played in the childhood of so many children over the years.  Kirstie Wilson: Kirklees Council, winner 2019 Hearts for the Arts Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer

When I despair to live in a country where central government cuts have forced local authorities to close nearly 800 libraries in the last ten years, it’s particularly good to find a Trust with the vision and faith to employ someone like Pauline Smeaton. As a parent of two under-fives, I see how much my daughters’ lives are broadened and improved by love of books. Pauline carries that faith into the community, and spreads the joy of reading to the widest possible audience. More power to her.  Samuel West: actor, director, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts

It would be hard to find someone more passionate about libraries and literacy, and more enthusiastic about spreading that passion, than Pauline. More than anything, she has managed to create a presence for books and reading in an area where library closures have hit hardest.  Susie Dent: lexicographer, etymologist, host of Countdown’s ‘Dictionary Corner’

Read more about Pauline Smeaton’s nomination here

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