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Councils honoured for commitment to culture in 2018 Hearts for the Arts Awards

Plymouth City Council's I.AM.NOT.A.ROBOT marketing campaign paired young people with professional artists to create work intended to promote becoming a foster carer
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Councils in Plymouth, Bolton, London’s Waltham Forest and north Wales have been celebrated for their commitment to championing the arts in their areas.

The accolades have been given by the National Campaign for the Arts as part of its Heart for the Arts Awards scheme, which recognises individual councillors as well as whole local authorities that have overcome financial challenges to ensure that the arts stay at the centre of their communities.

Plymouth City Council’s I.AM.NOT.A.ROBOT marketing campaign, which paired young people with professional artists to create work intended to promote becoming a foster carer, has won best local authority arts initiative.

Meanwhile, Lost in Art, a project by Denbighshire County Council in Wales that uses art to improve the lives of people with dementia, has been recognised for encouraging community cohesion.

Councillor Cliff Morris, former leader of Bolton Council, has been named best local authority arts champion, alongside council officer Lorna Lee, who leads the culture and heritage services at the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Both have been recognised for their sustained commitment to the arts in their areas.

The Hearts for the Arts Awards were first presented last year, and are judged by a panel that included NCA chair and actor Samuel West, David Lan, the former Young Vic artistic director, playwright Roy Williams, author Philip Pullman, comedian Josie Lawrence, director of Tate Maria Balshaw and Rachel Wood, who won as part of the 2017 awards.

West said: “During tough times for arts funding, it’s heartening to hear about local authority initiatives, up and down the country, that put the arts at the centre of people’s lives and bring different departments together with creativity and ambition to make these bold, brilliant ideas work.”