Hearts For The Arts 2020 Winners Announced

A Hackney Windrush festival, Plymouth community music charity and a theatre company helping those affected by addiction are three of this year’s winners

Hearts For The Arts 2020 Winners Announced

The winners have been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) Hearts For The Arts Awards 2020. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts, often within a climate of severe financial challenges.

Nominations were received from across the UK for this year’s Awards, and after representatives from this year’s Hearts for the Arts partners created the shortlist, winners were selected by a panel of top arts and sciences experts and practitioners.

The winners chosen for the 2020 Hearts For the Arts were:

  • Best Arts Initiative: Plymouth Music Zone (Plymouth City Council)

  • Best Arts Project – Community Cohesion: Windrush Generations Festival (Hackney Council)

  • Best Arts Project – Arts, Health and Wellbeing: Outside Edge (Hammersmith & Fulham / Westminster / Kensington & Chelsea)

  • Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker: Pauline Smeaton (Fife Cultural Trust)

  • Best Arts Champion – Councillor: Luthfur Rahman (Manchester City Council)

The nominations were whittled down to the eventual winners by a panel of high-profile figures in the arts and sciences: Susie Dent, Gary Kemp, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Alom Shaha, Errollyn Wallen, Kirstie Wilson and Samuel West.

The Awards are to be presented by Samuel West at the Local Government Association’s Annual Culture and Tourism Conference 2020, on 2 March.

Samuel West, actor, director and Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, said:

‘Congratulations to the 2020 NCA Hearts for the Arts winners. They come from all over the UK, and they show what good can be done by councils and trusts determined to put arts and culture at the centre of their citizen’s lives. The work these organisations and individuals are doing brings us together to heal, celebrate and delight our communities.

Picking winners from an exceptionally strong field was particularly hard this year, but it was a happy task. One of the judges, Dictionary Corner’s Susie Dent, said judging the nominees was “a daily oasis, reminding me of the good things - and people - in life.”

At a time when central government cuts put incredible pressure on Local Authority budgets, we are more than ever delighted to celebrate those councils who use the arts to bring lifesaving joy, stimulation and mental and physical health to their constituents. We love them, and we want them to keep going!’

The National Campaign for the Arts presents the Hearts For The Arts Awards each year. The awards are delivered by UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts; the Local Government Association; Thrive; Theatre NI, Voluntary Arts Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

For more information on the shortlisted nominees visit forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts

Header Image Credit: Hearts for the Arts logo


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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