Sea Folk Sing shortlisted for Hearts For The Arts award 2021

Sea Folk Sing has been shortlisted for the National Campaign for the Arts‘ (NCA) Hearts For
The Arts Awards 2021.

The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds.

Sea Folk Sing was the 2-year project we co-produced with SparkedEcho.

It brought together people over the age of 55 from Medway and Swale to part in creative writing and music workshops, which then led to finale performances across North Kent.

The project was funded through Arts Council England and The Baring Foundation’s Celebrating Age project, with additional funding and support from Kent County Council, Medway Council, and Swale Borough Council.

Also supporting the project were Optivo Housing Association and Involving Medway.


This year’s winners will be selected from the shortlist by a judging panel of key arts industry
experts and practitioners, including:

  • Le Gateau Chocolat, Drag artiste and cabaret performer
  • Paul Hartnoll, musician, composer, founder member of Orbital
  • Adrian Lester CBE, actor and director
  • Petra Roberts, Cultural Development Manager, Hackney Council (2020 winners for the
    Windrush Generations Festival)
  • Samuel West, actor, director, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts


Despite the incredible hardships faced by Local Authorities in 2020, this year’s awards saw
the NCA receive a record-breaking number of nominations, as local communities turned to the arts for solace, strength and connectivity during the pandemic.

Nominations were received from across the UK for each of the three award categories:

  • Best Arts Project
  • Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker
  • Best Arts Champion – Councillor

The shortlist was judged by representatives from some of this year’s partners in the awards:
Culture Counts; Wales Council for Voluntary Action; Local Government Association; National Campaign for the Arts; and Voluntary Arts Wales.


Discussing Sea Folk Sing’s nomination Hearts for the Arts Award partners said:

“At a time when so many are isolated and alone, especially older people, it was great to hear about a project like this that built on people’s sense of pride and ensured their voices were still being heard. A wonderful project that has clearly brought joy to all those who participated at a time when joy was in short supply.”


In response to being shortlisted, Tony Witton, Arts & Culture Service Manager at Kent County Council said:

“Sea Folk Sing is a beautiful project and its real success has been in bringing people together to celebrate North Kent’s maritime and folklore history through music. The quality of the work and its gentle and professional delivery have made it a hugely valuable experience for combatting loneliness and social isolation in those who need it most”


For more information on the entire Sea Folk Sing project visit:


The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2021 will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14 th February.

For more information on the shortlisted nominees visit

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