Hearts for the Arts shortlist celebrates culture in Swindon and Dippy in Rochdale 4 Feb 2021

The National Campaign for the Arts has announced the shortlist for its annual Hearts for the Arts Awards. These celebrate the individuals and projects which have shown how local authorities can support the arts – and the civic benefits of doing so. There are three categories this year:

  • Best Art Project, with shortlisted projects including the Create & Learn Playkits distributed by the London Borough of Wandsworth to children who were without art materials or an internet connection during lockdown. Dippy on Tour in Rochdale is also recommended, for putting the town on the map, and encouraging arts activity which became part of the exhibition, including 2000 bees knitted and donated by the public.
  • Best Arts Champion, Councillor. The shortlist of four includes Councillor John Simpson whose Camden Alive! Arts project is being captured in augmented reality as Camden People’s Museum. Councillor Dale Heenan has put culture at the heart of the regeneration of Swindon, and is working on a 10 year £80m plan to create a cultural quarter, including moving the theatre and museum, to generate £35m benefit. His ‘Art on Tour’ project brought Swindon Museum’s collection of modern British art to people across the city.
  • Best Arts Champion, local authority or cultural trust worker has a shortlist including Art Development Officer Claudia Cartwright, who took the work of Mole Valley District online this year.

NCA’s Chair Samuel West said “after such a difficult year for all those in local authorities and the arts – a year of loss, postponement and distance – to be able to celebrate these shortlists, full of people and projects that brought us together in new and life-saving ways, is a real joy.” National Campaign for the Arts, NCA (Dippy in Rochdale), Swindon Art on Tour