Kirklees Council’s Kirstie Wilson, Development Librarian, has been announced as Best Local Authority Arts Champion Officer 2019.

The winner has been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) The Hearts for the Arts Awards, which celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities, who are championing the arts, often within a climate of severe financial challenges.

Discussing Kirstie’s nomination, judge and Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts Samuel West said:

An astounding amount of work and achievement for one person. Kirstie Wilson brings ideas and energy to such a wide range of projects. Any council would be proud to have a dynamo like Kirstie working for them.”

Cllr Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Corporate services said:

“We are delighted that Kirstie has won this award. It was a fantastic achievement to have two of our staff members nominated for such a prestigious honour and it’s even better to have been successful. Kirstie has been recognised by others for bringing the arts to life in our communities in new and exciting ways.

Along with Kirstie, Kath Davies, the Creative Economy Manager, was also in the running for the award in recognition of the work she has been doing to create partnerships, develop cultural activities at Queensgate Market to enhance the shopping experience and build a reputation for Kirklees as a place of world class music.

This award once again proves what great staff we have working within the library service, and what a fantastic offer the library service has, and how it delivers for our communities.

Kirklees council recognises the importance of a strong cultural offer for its people and by working with partners as Kirstie has, we will continue to develop a strong vibrant diverse cultural offer for our residents. Showcasing work like this inspires others to do the same.

I’d like to thank Kirstie for her hard work and dedication, which has been recognised in receiving this reward.”

The winners were chosen 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 winners visit forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts/