A REPRESENTATIVE of Criccieth Town Council has been nominated for an award celebrating the unsung heroes of local authorities who champion the arts against all odds.

The shortlist has been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds.

Councillor Ffion Meleri Gwyn has been nominated for ‘best arts champion – councillor’ in the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) ‘Hearts for the Arts’ awards in 2022.

This follows her work providing inspired leadership to a range of creative and innovative projects, contributing massively to the wellbeing of the Criccieth community during a testing time.

This year’s winners will be selected from the shortlist by a judging panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News, and Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and TV ‘Dragon’ on ‘Dragons’ Den’.

Cllr Gwyn said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be shortlisted for this award which is a tribute to the amazing work and involvement of members of our community, from young to old in so many memorable projects.

“We are living in unprecedented times and it’s fantastic to be able to reach out through our varied creative initiatives to involve hundreds in our bilingual community.

“This has boosted the wellbeing of all of us.”

Despite the pandemic, creative people and projects have been supporting and producing arts all across Wales.

This has helped to ease the pressure on the NHS and other UK organisations responsible for care and rehabilitation, and proving the benefits of creativity to mental health, and general wellbeing.

The Hearts for the Arts Awards are a way to celebrate these creative efforts and to encourage local authorities and cultural trusts to prioritise arts and culture in their areas.

Nominations were received from across the UK for each of this year’s three award categories: ‘best arts project’; ‘best arts champion - local authority or cultural trust worker’; and ‘best arts champion – councillor’.

Discussing Cllr Gwyn’s nomination, Hearts for the Arts Award partners said: “Cllr Ffion Meleri Gwyn embodies the strong community spirit which clearly exists in the Criccieth Town Council area.

“It is very easy for elected representatives to make speeches and lofty commitments to improving an area; it is much more difficult for them to actually make a difference, and be involved with it personally as Cllr Gwyn has.”

Dr Catrin Jones, clerk of Criccieth Town Council, added: “In the time of COVID, Cllr Ffion Meleri Gwyn, as an artist and as a councillor, has made the case for creativity in partnership by setting an example of how, despite all the necessary restrictions, it was and remains possible and beneficial to innovate and create and make art a community adventure.

“She’s provided inspired leadership on a range of creative and innovative projects, working tirelessly to engage with the community, encouraging people from all walks of life to take part.

“To successfully launch and accomplish a creative strategy, every council needs a Ffion.”

The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022 will be announced on February 14.

For more information on the shortlisted nominees, visit: www.forthearts.org.uk/campaigns/hearts-for-the-arts.