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National recognition for champion of Arts

Posted onPosted on 15th Feb

A Mansfield man has won a national award for his work in championing the Arts.

Andy Dawson, service manager at Inspire Youth Arts, was named Best Arts Champion (Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker) in the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) Hearts For The Arts Awards 2021.

He was chosen for his work strategically planning and securing funds to deliver create journeys for young people across Nottinghamshire.

Andy said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, but without the amazing team of colleagues and artists I work with it just wouldn’t be possible to achieve what we have over the past 20 plus years, constantly striving to improve the lives of young people in Nottinghamshire through the arts.”

Peter Gaw, chief executive for Inspire, added: “Andy has worked for the county council and Inspire for over 25 years and has maintained a real passion to empower young people to aspire to create great art.

“He is always trying new approaches and building partnerships to bring skills and expertise into the lives of Nottinghamshire young people.

“The longevity of his work for youth arts means there is a large number of alumni who give back to inspiring the next generation of Nottinghamshire creatives.

“We all at Inspire are proud of Andy and the team, and wish him many congratulations on his well-deserved award.”

One of the judges, comedian, writer and actress Francesca Martinez said: “I love Andy’s passion for providing arts services to disadvantaged young people.

“As someone who desperately wanted to be a performer, but was discouraged because of my disability by many adults, I can see the huge importance of someone like Andy, who strongly believes in the power of art to heal, inspire, and help process difficult experiences.

“His long career and the wide-ranging nature of his projects is wonderful, and demonstrates a deep dedication to working with young people of all backgrounds. Andy has clearly transformed many lives for the better.”

Under normal circumstances the Inspire Youth Arts team usually delivers a range of music, dance and digital projects from its Mansfield base at The Old Library on Leeming Street — and across the whole of Nottinghamshire — including a mixture of workshops, events, installations and showcases, usually reaching 1500-2000 young people each year.

However, from the start of coronavirus lockdown much of its programme has been successfully moved online. It is part of Inspire, which delivers culture, learning and libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council.

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