Plymouth Music Zone has been shortlisted for a national award that recognises organisations leading the way in championing and supporting its practitioners.  The inaugural awards have been created by the national body that brings together cultural organisations from across England to promote the role of arts and culture in supporting the country’s health and wellbeing.

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance decided to launch its first awards programme with a range of partners with the aim of showcasing good practice and people who are leading the way in creating a culture of care for each other, their communities and the world.

There are three award categories in the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance Awards 2020 which are linked to the core themes of partnerships, practitioner wellbeing and climate change.

  • Collective Power Award in partnership with the Ideas Alliance
  • The Practising Well Award in collaboration with Nicola Naismith
  • Climate Award in partnership with the Happy Museum Project and Culture Declares Emergency

Plymouth Music Zone has been shortlisted for the ‘Practising Well Award’ in collaboration with a prominent artist and researcher. Practitioner wellbeing is a recurring concern and priority. Working in collaboration with Nicola Naismith, (Artist/Researcher and author of the ‘Artists Practising Well’  report) this award aims to focus on practice that is leading the way in championing, delivering and embedding practitioner care into project design, commissioning and management.

Artists or museum/heritage or cultural practitioners were invited to nominate commissioners, employers, peers or organisations who are supporting practitioners and creating conditions that nurture better wellbeing and enable everyone to practice well.  Plymouth Music Zone Music Leader, Holly Bench, nominated the charity. Holly Bench is the organisation’s longest serving Music Leader and has witnessed first hand the increased investment in its workforce over the years. Holly says:

It is extremely helpful and encouraging to know that we are not isolated in our work. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated in the emotional backdrop of what we do. It is also really important that we are ‘fed’ by interesting, motivational and current thinking that supports our work.

The Judges for the award include: Nicola Naismith, Damian Hebron (Nesta) and Ruth Sapsed (Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination and Lived Experience Network). Plymouth Music Zone is one of five shortlisted organisations:

Shortlisted Nominations

Plymouth Music Zone’s Creativity and Learning Director, Anna Batson, says it is a welcome recognition of the key importance of the pastoral and developmental activities on offer for Music Leaders through PMZ’s ‘Music Leader Support Hub’.

It’s so wonderful to be shortlisted for the Practising Well Award in collaboration with Nicola Naismith alongside other arts organisations who inspire us so much at Plymouth Music Zone. We’ve been on a long journey to really understand what genuine care looks like on the ground for our Music Leaders, participants and the many partner organisations we work with access health, social care and within a diverse range of communities. We always feel humbled by the value that people place on us and our work and we do all we can to understand how best to translate that value and trust into our ongoing practice. We know we cannot possibly hope to use music to make a difference without fully supporting our Music Leaders in the process. We’re very grateful to all those who support us to do that.

Summer Jam PMZ Music Leaders

Plymouth Music Zone is able to embed practitioner wellbeing across its work thanks to investment and support from key funders like Youth Music, the National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England.

The CHWA2020 Award winners will be announced in the coming weeks.  The full award shortlist can be found here: