Deputy leader nominated for national arts award!

A national campaign that champions the work of artists and arts groups has shortlisted a city councillor for a prestigious award.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council deputy leader Abi Brown (Conservative) has been nominated for the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) ‘Hearts for the Arts Award 2018’. She has been shortlisted for the title: Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor. The nomination recognised her work as chair of the city’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The awards celebrate the work of councils, councillors and council officers who have overcome financial challenges to ensure the arts stay at the centre of community life.

Nominations were received for awards in four categories: Best Local Authority Arts Initiative, Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor, Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer, and Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion. This year the campaign received more nominations than ever before and from all four UK nations.

The shortlist was judged by representatives from this year’s partners in the awards: UK Theatre, Arts Development UK, Culture Counts, the Local Government Association, and What Next?.

Discussing Abi Brown’s nomination, the Local Government Association said: “A very significant contribution that extended beyond the council boundaries in pulling together Stoke-on-Trent’s bid to be UK City of Culture.”

The 2018 Hearts For The Arts Awards are delivered by the NCA and UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts, the Local Government Association (LGA), Arts Development UK (ADUK) and What Next?.

The winners will be determined by a panel of judges made up of Samuel West (chair of the NCA), Rachel Wood (arts development officer, Oldham Borough Council and 2017 winner), Roy Williams OBE (playwright and NCA board member), Phillip Pullman (author), David Lan (playwright and director), Josie Long (comedian) and Maria Balshaw (director of Tate). The winners will be announced on Wednesday 14 February.