General 14 January 2022


The shortlist has been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds.


Falkirk Community Trust has been nominated for Best Arts Project for the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (online edition). HippFest is Scotland’s first and only commissioning and showcase festival for silent film and live music and this year HippFest rose again to present their very first live online edition including: 10 shows with music accompaniment; 2 illustrated talks; 2 virtual tours; cookery workshop; 10 introductions recorded at multiple locations in and around the Falkirk area and guest-speaker intros; 5 live Q&As; a silent film quiz; a chess tournament; and many guest-curated Spotify playlists.

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.

Discussing Falkirk’s nomination, Hearts for the Arts Award partners said about the online edition of HippFest: “A really innovative scheme to promote engagement with film at a challenging time for cinemas everywhere. The number of platforms used, forums created and extras offered are wonderful to see, and demonstrate a real desire to go above and beyond in creating this festival. The sense of community cohesion is very clear in putting the festival together – well done and we’re glad it was such a success!”

In response to being shortlisted Lesley O’Hare, Culture and Libraries Manager, Falkirk Community Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award. After the Festival was cancelled just days before it was due to go live in 2020, the team pulled out all the stops to ensure that our audiences could still feel that they were part of the festival experience in 2021 when we moved online. HippFest is so much more than just a programme of silent film screenings and the team worked hard to keep our online audiences engaged through coming up with a whole programme of activities for them to participate in. This included everything from a chess tournament to a cookery class in making Mary Pickford’s delicious enchiladas! It really is wonderful that our efforts have been acknowledged through the Hearts for the Arts Awards and we have everything crossed for the winners announcement next month.”

The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022 will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14th 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 UK, Creative Lives, the Local Government Association, Thrive, UK 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 forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts

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