Wakefield Council shortlisted in the 2022 Hearts for the Arts Awards

18 January 2022

Wakefield Council’s Together and Apart exhibition has been nominated for a national arts award.

The Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022 celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds, and the Together and Apart Exhibition has been shortlisted for Best Arts Project.

The exhibition, which was held in June last year, showcased work by local artists and arts organisations who were awarded emergency support grants from the Council in 2020 in order for them to explore their creative responses to the impact of the pandemic, and to support Wakefield’s creative sector. 

Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Together and Apart exhibition has been nominated for this award.

“The artworks that were displayed showed community spirit and shared experiences across the district as well as celebrating our collective strength and resilience in the face of adversity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Discussing Wakefield’s nomination, Hearts for the Arts Award partners said about Together and Apart: “A project borne out of the pandemic which forged new relationships between local creatives and the Council, which is always something to be celebrated. A large number of people were involved, adding to a sense of community cohesion following a very isolating time. We’d like to thank Wakefield Council for offering emergency grants to creatives at an extremely financially challenging time.”

This year’s winners will be selected from the shortlist by a judging panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including:

Andy Dawson, Inspire Youth Arts, winner of the 2021 HFTA award for Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, author, speaker and supporter of music education

Shaparak Khorsandi, stand up comedian, writer, all round delight

Anna Lapwood, organist, conductor and broadcaster

Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and TV Dragon

Jack Thorne, screenwriter and playwright

Samuel West, actor and director, NCA Trustee

Despite the pandemic, creative people and projects have been supporting and producing local arts all around the nation this year – helping to ease the pressure on the NHS and other UK organisations responsible for care and rehabilitation, and proving the benefits of creativity to mental health, and general wellbeing. The Hearts for the Arts Awards are a way to celebrate these creative efforts and to encourage local authorities and cultural trusts to prioritise arts and culture in their areas.

Nominations were received from across the UK for each of this year’s three award categories: Best Arts Project; Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker; and Best Arts Champion – Councillor.

The shortlist was judged by representatives from the National Campaign for the Arts and from this year’s award partners: Community Leisure UK, Creative Lives, the Local Government Association, Thrive and UK Theatre.

The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022 will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2022.

The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts for the Arts Awards each year. This year’s awards are delivered by the NCA, in partnership with Community Leisure UKCreative Lives, the Local Government AssociationThriveUK Theatre, and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

The Hearts for the Arts Awards were launched in 2016 to highlight the achievements of Local Authorities continuing their arts services against a backdrop of severe financial cuts. Previous judges have included Les Dennis, Susie Dent, Gary Kemp and Olivia Colman. Previous year’s winners included Wandsworth’s Create & Learn Playkits and Rochdale Borough’s Councillor Janet Emsley.

For more information on the shortlisted nominees visit To discover more about the creative projects showcased in Together and Apart visit Together & Apart – Creative Wakefield.