Barnsley Libraries shortlisted in the 2022 Hearts for the Arts Awards

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.

Barnsley Libraries have been nominated for Best Arts Project for Live @ the Lightbox - a programme of music making opportunities for disadvantaged and disengaged young people in Barnsley, with the aim of raising aspirations and providing an opportunity for music making in a safe accessible space. The programme was developed by our libraries at Library @ the Lightbox and delivered with various partners such as Feels Like Home, WE Great Ladies, and Barnsley College, with funding from Youth Music.

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 the nomination, Hearts for the Arts Awards partners said about Live @ the Lightbox: “It’s really heart-warming to hear how music and creativity have been made available to those who might not otherwise ever interact with it in this way, as well as opening the door for them to engage with the community facilities such as the library.”

Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Adults and Communities, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this special award and we are all extremely proud of what was achieved through Live @ the Lightbox project.

“Working with our fantastic partners throughout the pandemic we adapted to changing restrictions and situations, and we are thrilled to be recognised. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the partners and participants who gave so much to the project.”

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 presents 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

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