Last year, 2018, Torre Abbey Museum hosted their Torbay Tattoo Tales project, with results of the event being an overwhelming success.

That same project has now gone on to win Torbay Council the Best Local Authority Arts initiative award.

The winners have been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) Hearts for the Arts Awards 2019.

These awards celebrated the unsung heroes of local authorities that are championing the arts, often within a climate of severe financial pressure.

Nominations were given for four award categories including:

  • Best Local Authority Arts Initiative
  • Best Local Authority Arts Project Encouraging Community Cohesion
  • Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor
  • Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Officer

Torbay Council was fortunate to scoop the Best Local Authority Arts initiative.

Les Dennis, who discussed Torbay Council’s nomination said:

OW! What a great idea. Watching the film totally changed my feelings about tattoos. Listening to people explain how they use body art to express grief and so much more, was beautiful and inspiring.

“I will look at tattoos in the future as a wonderfully expressive form of art and wonder what story it is there to tell. This project is a winner for me – it definitely stands out as innovative and far-reaching. Outstanding example of innovative thinking connecting different members of the community to the museum and each other.

The winners of the awards were chosen by a panel of key arts industry expert 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

Executive Lead for Tourism, Culture and Harbours, Nicole Amil said:

This is fantastic news and so well deserved, I am so proud of the team at Torre Abbey Museum. In recent years, the museum has been growing as a centre for culture with a wonderful rolling programme of exhibitions and events. Torbay Tattoo Tales encapsulated a range of wonderful stories from local people regarding why they had chosen particular body art.

More information on the winners of the awards can be found on the official For the Arts website.

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