Four organisations were named as finalists in the arts category of The National Lottery Awards 2011, the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.
The projects won enough votes from the public to beat off competition from all around the UK to reach the final stage of the competition. The four finalists in the Best Arts Project category were:
Inclusion Through Practice, Harlow
Run by Razed Roof, Inclusion Through Practice is an inclusive performing arts group for people with and without learning disabilities. Its members work together to put on shows and develop a wide range of skills. This project ran workshops for people with severe learning disabilities and others, leading up to putting on a specially adapted production of ‘Billy Elliot’.
The new mac birmingham (Midlands Arts Centre) is a complete renovation of the old facility that was no longer fit for the 21st Century. The fully accessible arts centre is a makeover and substantial extension of the old building, combined with new facilities, and provides a welcoming and exciting place for people of all backgrounds and abilities to explore the arts.
Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds
Lottery funding was used to create a purpose-built centre for dance in Leeds that houses Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre, their respective academies - which train in excess of 300 young people - and further and higher education students from local universities. The building has seven dance studios, a studio theatre, wardrobe facilities, a health suite, meeting rooms and offices.
The Smiling Sessions, London
The Smiling Sessions is a musical project where three musicians visit homes for the elderly to hold workshops to brighten residents’ days and encourage them to take part by singing and revisiting old musical skills.
All the projects in the running have already received Lottery funding and the Awards celebrated how they had put that money to good use. The four finalists in the Best Arts Project category went head-to-head in a public vote in September to decide a winner.
This 2011 National Lottery Awards are supported by television presenter Julia Bradbury. She said:
“It’s brilliant to see such an inspiring range of Lottery-funded projects - large and small - make it through to final stage of The National Lottery Awards. Lottery players raise £28 million a week for Good Causes and all of the finalists have shown how they’ve used their Lottery funding to make a real difference in their communities. Anyone that has ever played the Lottery should feel very proud to know their money has helped support fantastic projects such as these.”
There were seven categories in the Awards, which reflected the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health (in association with ivillage.co.uk), environment, education (in association with Best magazine) and voluntary/charity. There was one winner in each category which was decided by a final round of public voting during the autumn.
The winning project in each of the categories received national recognition at a star-studded event, which was broadcast on BBC One, as well as recieving a £2,000 cash prize, in addition to Lottery funding, to spend on their project.
Please click on the link for further information about the National Lottery Awards.