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Date published: 23/01/2019

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Essex County Council has been nominated for Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion for its project Creative Journeys.
The Creative Journeys’ project is a health and wellbeing research programme initiated by Essex County Council’s Culture & Community Engagement team in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, funded by Arts Council England. 
Working in 8 care home settings across Essex with leading arts organisations Age Exchange, Magic Me, Green Candle Dance and Orchestras Live with Sinfonia Viva, the project explores the benefits of cultural activity with older people, including physical mobility, mental health/loneliness and social relationships. The programme also includes training for carers and upskilling for cultural professionals working in the sector.
Good numbers of nominations were received for each of the four award categories: Best Local Authority Arts Initiative, Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion, Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor, and Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer.
The shortlist was judged by representatives from some of this year’s partners in the awards: Culture Counts, Local Government Association, National Campaign for the Arts, UK Theatre and Voluntary Arts Wales.
Discussing Essex County Council’s nomination, our partners described Creative Journeys as “a well thought out project embedded in local partnerships that should be of interest to all councils providing adult social care.”
The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts For The Arts Awards each year. The awards are delivered by UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts, the Local Government Association (LGA), Theatre NI, Voluntary Arts Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and What Next?.
The winners of the Hearts For The Arts Awards 2019 will be announced on Thursday 14 February. The winners will be selected from the shortlist by a panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including: 

·        Samira Ahmed: journalist, writer and broadcaster
·        Les Dennis: actor, comedian, television presenter and NCA Champion
·        Jude Kelly: producer, director, founder of Women of the World Festivals and The WOW Foundation, ex-Artistic Director of The Southbank Centre
·        Kwame Kwei-Armah: playwright, director, Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre
·        Lorna Lee: Head of Culture & Heritage Services, London Borough of Waltham Forest, and Winner of the 2018 Hearts for the Arts Awards for Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer
·        Samuel West: actor, director and Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts
For more information on the shortlisted nominees visit forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts/