Middlesborough Council – Gordon Dalton

Gordon Dalton shortlisted for Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker in the 2020 Hearts for the Arts Awards


Gordon is the Producer for Creative Factory, tasked with supporting individual artists and visual arts organisations via advocacy, events, bursaries, mentoring, professional development and marketing.

Since starting in August 2018, he has created 40 artist commissions; over 100 artist awards; 30 free mentoring places (with Teesside University) and given 3 year-long free studios with Navigator North. 

Gordon is a very energetic, passionate advocate for artists and the role of the visual arts. He has galvanised artists through his advocacy on a 1-2-1 basis, groups, seminars and larger conference events. In just 15 months Gordon has met with over 500 individual artists, building long term relationships with artists of all ages from a wide and diverse background.  

Within the Council, Gordon contributes greatly to Cultural Services, and has assisted in the development of Middlesbrough Mela and Orange Pip Market. His work expands into other departments including consulting for the Southlands Centre; developing plans for Middlesbrough’s city centre and Newham Grange Farm; working on the cultural strategy; Mental Health Awareness; creating an art rental plan and new commissions for Middlesbrough Council’s new office and he has developed a public art plan for Middlesbrough. 

Gordon places collaboration and partnership as central to his approach, making new connections, meeting new people, learning new skills and sharing knowledge with a wide and diverse range of disciplines, sectors and communities. 

What the judges said:

‘Gordon sounds like one of these vital mavens at the centre of creative networks. Not only does his work raise the profile of the visual arts in Middlesbrough – he’s a connector for artists to find resources required to develop their talents. The importance of Gordon’s work helping make these connections is easily forgotten when metrics come down to visitors / audience / clicks. It’s folk like Gordon who keep creativity alive in cities.’