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Finalists revealed for the 2021 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

Judging has taken place in this year’s Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards with a total of 46 people and organisations being shortlisted in the competition.

More than 730 nominations came in from across the six local authority areas of the Liverpool City Region and the judges; including CEO of the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, Michelle Charters, Jane Beardsworth the Senior Manager North for Arts Council England and Yaw Owusu, LIMF curator and member of the Liverpool City Region Music Board had some difficult choices to make.

Despite the many challenges of the last year, an incredibly high standard of cultural and creative projects have been delivered as organisations and individuals have adapted, made use of technology and thought differently in order for events and exhibitions to go ahead.

The chosen finalists for each category will now be invited to a glittering ‘in person’ ceremony, which will hopefully return, following our virtual event last year. The planned celebration will be held on March 2nd 2022 at the Cronton Playhouse in Halton hosted by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Ngunan Adamu.

Our virtual event, broadcast online across the Liverpool City Region however, will remain to allow everyone involved to engage with the projects.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:

“Our nominees for this year’s Culture and Creativity Awards deserve every bit of praise for their hard work. Their imagination and inspiration has never let us down and their support is helping lead our creative recovery.

“The Liverpool City Region is the UK’s cultural capital. Creativity is in our bones. And from community organisations and individual artists to Hollywood stars, we have so much to be proud of.

“2021 has been a much brighter year than 2020, but I am hopeful that next year will be even better. All being well, we will be able to come together safely in person in March to recognise and celebrate all of the fantastic cultural and creative work that has gone on in our region over the last year.”

But one award won’t be decided by the judging panel. The winner of the People’s Choice Award – Outstanding Contribution to Culture, is voted for by the public from six finalists.

They are:

  • 20 Stories High – a leading UK theatre company making work with and for under-represented young people.
  • Claire Pitt – a Halton artist, Culture HQ curator and Director of Hazlehurst Studios in Runcorn.
  • Luma Creations – an Arts and Cultural organisation promoting Latin American and Diversity Arts and Artists.
  • Matt Rutter/YEP – a Director of the Young Everyman Playhouse.
  • Metal Culture – supports international artists to develop their practice in conjunction with specific communities and fields of knowledge, with the aim of creating positive social change.
  • The Reader – a national charity bringing people together to experience the life-enriching power of literature through Shared Reading.
    Voting will open in the New Year and the Liverpool City Region community will then be able to vote online for their chosen winner.

Co-Chair of the Cultural Partnership Sir Phil Redmond said:

“The aim of the awards has always been to encourage and recognise creativity wherever it occurred, and once again the finalists have demonstrated the depth and range of creativity across the region. I would like to thank the Judging Panel for taking on the difficult task of shortlisting, something that is getting harder each year! Hopefully, this year, we will all be able to celebrate together in person.

“The People’s Choice is a special one for me, because the people of the Liverpool City Region have the power to choose the winner of one of the awards and they aren’t shy of saying what they think! I wish everyone the best of luck in the next stage.”

Michelle Charters, the Chief Executive of the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, has been on the judging panel since the awards began in 2018. She said:

“The standard and quality of work which has been entered year on year to the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards is simply astounding. This year was no different.

“We have a great mix of culturally diverse projects with both traditional and unique uses of creativity and that’s exactly what we want in order to move forward and broaden our horizons as to what’s out there and what impact it makes to where we live as well as recognising all of our communities contributions.”

Finalists were judged on work that had taken place between 13 November 2020 and 12 November 2021. Culture is not only defined as professional arts, cultural events and performances. It also includes the voluntary and community sector who use creative approaches that are innovative and transformational.

Finalists must live, study and/or work in the Liverpool City Region (e.g. Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) or have created work/projects that significantly benefit the residents or visitors to the Liverpool City Region and/or has positively contributed to the development of the local economy.

The LCR Culture and Creativity awards were created as part of the Metro Mayor’s 1% for Culture initiative, where 1% of the Combined Authority’s £30 million funding each year is set aside to support culture and creativity. It recognises the value and power for change that the arts, cultural and creative sector can bring in reinforcing the city region as one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, study, visit or do business.

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