Three community-minded contributors to the cultural life of Eltham scooped awards recently. The first-time ever Eltham Arts Awards 2016 were made at a finale celebration on 20 November marking the end of the three-week long Eltham Arts Winter Festival 2016.
We made our Awards to three local organisations for outstanding contributions to community arts. Awards were presented – by Eltham MP Clive Efford and Greenwich Arts & Culture Councillor Denise Scott-MacDonald – to St Thomas More Secondary School’s innovative SE9 Container Gallery, to the hard-working Eltham Library and also to the White Hart pub for their support and community fundraising.
Presenting the Eltham Arts Award for the SE9 Container Gallery to Andrew Downie, the Head of Art at St Thomas More, Mr Efford said, ” As someone who has visited the SE9 Container Gallery at St Thomas More School many times and purchased a piece of art displayed there I was pleased to give the award.”
We made this Award because the SE9 Container gallery has brought art to the centre of Eltham with exhibitions of a high quality. This has also given students a chance to display their work and engage in community projects as well as providing wider artistic perspectives to the local population.
Dedicated Eltham Library staff Paula Bellamy and Miriam Storey received their award from Councillor Denise Scott-MacDonald who paid tribute to their work saying, “I get really positive feedback wherever I go…so many people are so proud of the library and excited by the work of staff there.” Paula Bellamy said she was, “Thrilled to bits to win. We are proud to serve wonderful Eltham!”
Alex Mayers, Co-Director of the White Hart Pub, received the award on behalf of White Hart owners Simon Hinchley-Robson & David Hinchley-Robson. We think this that this popular Eltham-based pub was an excellent example of how local businesses and the arts can work together. The White Hart not only works closely with the Bob Hope Theatre, it provides quiz nights which support many local groups including Eltham Arts, enabling arts events to take place.
Chuffed with the recognition, the White Hart reacted that, “From day one we always wanted to be a hub for the community… It was only when being told when receiving the award we realised how much we do. Within the time we’ve been here we are proud to have raised over £65,000 for local charities with our community supported activities. It brought tears to our eyes when these things were acknowledged and we are honoured to serve such a close knit community.”
The Awards were a fitting conclusion to the Eltham Arts Winter Festival this year which saw hundreds of visitors enjoy the art, live music, theatre and cultural activities which the SE9 area had to offer. The finale party and Awards Ceremony on 20 November took place at Eltham’s White Hart pub and saw singers-songwriters perform their original songs.
It was great to see so many supporters attended, including a number of local Councillors. Clive Efford MP said, “It was a really great night. Lots of laughs and really talented musicians.” The Eltham Arts Committee were delighted once again to see such community spirit on show and for the arts to be taking centre stage in Eltham.
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