Nominations open for Hearts for the Arts 2020

Nominations are now open for our 2020 Hearts for the Arts Awards. Our trustee, Julia Payne, explains why everyone should get involved and how easy it is to nominate someone.

Nominations are now open for our 2020 Hearts for the Arts Awards. The Awards are our annual celebration of local authorities and cultural trusts who invest in the joy, excitement and life-enriching quality of the arts, and we’d love it if you’d get involved.

So what’s the story?

Some local authorities and cultural trusts really understand the importance of the arts to the wellbeing of
local communities and the value this small but crucial investment brings, even in financially challenging
times. Hearts for the Arts says thank you to the councils and trusts, councillors and council and trust employees, who work hard to support the arts, and shines a light on the amazing work that they do. It’s a chance for audience members, participants, project partners – anyone – to give a shout out to someone in their local council or trust who’s made something brilliant happen. Convinced already? Then make a nomination. 

What do the awards cover?

There are 5 awards up for grabs this year…

1. Best Arts Initiative

This one’s all about local council/trust arts projects that have made a real difference locally. It could be anything from last year’s winner – Torbay Council’s Torbay Tattoo Tales, which saw hundreds of local people share their tatts and what they mean to them, as part of Torre Abbey Museum’s exhibition Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed – to an arts project that encourages people to get involved in recycling or that gets more kids singing in schools.

2. Best Arts Project – Community Cohesion

Last year’s winner was Middlesbrough Borough Council’s Erimus project, an immersive theatre piece with a large community cast, created as part of the re-opening of Middlesbrough’s Town Hall. Who knows what this year’s will be?

3. Best Arts Project – Arts, Health and Wellbeing

Having launched Hearts for the Arts on World Mental Health Day, we’re introducing a brand new award for this year, celebrating brilliant council/trust-led arts projects that have had a positive impact on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. I am looking forward to some GREAT nominations that I know we are going to get for this one.

4. Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker

Described by one of our judges as “Someone with great ideas about how to keep our Libraries actively engaged with the community and thriving”, last year’s winner was Kirklees Council’s Kirstie Wilson. It could just as well have been a helpful licensing or planning officer; anyone who’s ever run an arts project knows that we need champions across all departments.

5. Best Arts Champion – Councillor

So, last year David Budd was our winner in this category (the Middlesbrough Mayor, not the BBC’s Bodyguard) – singled out for “advocating for, supporting and engaging with the arts in all of their diversity…(and having) an international focus too”. We know how crucial having senior political leaders on side is, so this category matters all the more.

Nominating is really easy… so get involved, and tell all your friends!

Literally anyone can nominate someone for a Hearts for the Arts award. And if you know someone brilliant in a trust or council then we’d urge you to do so. It’s dead simple and takes 15 minutes max, using our online form. If you care about the arts, and want to do a nice thing for someone who makes a real difference to where you live or work, then why not do it now? It only takes 15 minutes!

Winning makes a real difference to our winners

Still need convincing? Perhaps knowing the difference that our Awards make will be the clincher for you…
We’ve been running Hearts for the Arts since 2016, and know from our winners what an Award can mean to them personally and the difference it can make in terms of helping them protect local arts funding. Awards give winners renewed confidence and determination, shift how their peers and more senior colleagues see them, and perhaps most importantly help ensure that there’s funding there next year for them to do it all again next year. What are you waiting for?

The dates and all the other stuff you need

Nominations are open until Friday 8th November.

The nomination form is here.

The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 14 January 2020, and the final winners will be announced on Friday 14 February 2020 – Valentine’s Day – so we can show our winners some love!

Click here for more information about Hearts for the Arts.

Hearts for the Arts is possible through the support and partnership of amazing organisations throughout the nations.

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