Hearts for the Arts 2022 shortlist announced

 Photo credit: James Mulkeen 

On 14th January, the shortlist was announced for the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds.

This year’s winners are to be selected from the shortlist by a judging panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including:

  • Andy Dawson, Inspire Youth Arts, winner of a 2021 HFTA award
  • Krishnan Guru-Murthy, journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News
  • Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, author, speaker and supporter of music education
  • Shaparak Khorsandi, stand up comedian, writer, all round delight
  • Anna Lapwood, organist, conductor and broadcaster
  • Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and TV Dragon
  • Jack Thorne, screenwriter and playwright
  • Samuel West, actor and director, NCA trustee

Nominations were received from across the UK for each of the three award categories: Best Arts Project; Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker; and Best Arts Champion – Councillor.

The shortlist is made up of an eclectic mix of inspiring projects and people bringing creativity into people’s lives to revitalise communities, reboot economies, and care for the most vulnerable in society. From a Silent Film Festival, to art exhibitions in disused shops, and from music-making and intergenerational choir projects to digital innovation, this year’s shortlist proves that the arts can be a vital support to the NHS and to many other UK organisations responsible for care and rehabilitation, and that creativity makes connections for those who need it most.

The shortlist was judged by representatives from the National Campaign for the Arts and from this year’s award partners: Community Leisure UK, Creative Lives, the Local Government Association, Thrive and UK Theatre.

Samuel West, a Trustee of the National Campaign for the Arts, said:

“The pandemic has given us no respite since March 2020; instability and insecurity still threaten the survival of our arts industry. I am astounded, therefore, at the achievements of the people and projects on the shortlist for this year’s Hearts for the Arts Awards. We hope that recognising their efforts will give the cheer of encouragement needed for local authorities, artists and arts organisations to keep going. The work you’re doing is incredibly important – as proved by the great impact all those shortlisted have had on their participants, communities and audiences”.

And the shortlists are:

Best Arts Project: 

Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker:

Best Arts Champion – Councillor:

The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022 will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2022.

The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts for the Arts Awards each year. This year’s awards are delivered by the NCA, in partnership with Community Leisure UK, Creative Lives, the Local Government Association, Thrive, UK Theatre, and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

The Hearts for the Arts Awards were launched in 2016 to highlight the achievements of Local Authorities continuing their arts services against a backdrop of severe financial cuts. Previous judges have included Les Dennis, Susie Dent, Gary Kemp and Olivia Colman. Previous year’s winners included Wandsworth’s Create & Learn Playkits and Rochdale Borough’s Councillor Janet Emsley.

Picture of CFTA Team


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