Each year, around 75 Queen’s Honours are awarded for services to the arts and media sector. This is roughly half the number awarded for services to the economy or business, and approximately three times more than are awarded for services to science and technology. While honours for business leaders occasionally court some controversy, honours for services to the arts and media are usually well supported by the public.
Among those receiving honours in 2014 for services to arts and media, Harriet Bridgeman (pictured above), chairman of The Bridgeman Art Library, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). The gallery, formed in 1972, is a central source of fine art for reproduction. It also generates additional income for museums and galleries. In addition to her work with The Bridgeman Art Library, in 2006, she founded The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS). The society facilitates the collection of royalties for artists under the European Union’s Resale Right Directive.
In recognition of the affordable studios sector, Jonathan Harvey and David Panton were appointed OBEs. Harvey and Panton established Acme Studios in 1972 as a charitable housing association, making temporary use of two derelict shops. Acme Studios now has in excess of 16 permanent buildings, providing affordable spaces for over 700 artists to live and work. From 2015 the London-based charity will be completely self-sustaining. In a joint statement realised upon the publication of the Honours lists they said: “This endorsement is a tribute to the extraordinary support and commitment we continue to receive from our board and staff and to those individuals and organisations with whom we have developed mutually-supportive creative partnerships.”
For services to the arts and the disability arts movement, an OBE was also presented to Tony Heaton, the Chief Executive of Shape, a disability-led arts organisation working to improve access to culture for disabled people. Prior to his work with Shape, he was the Director of Holton Lee, a provider of short stay residential facilities for disabled people. In his time there, he spearheaded the commissioning and development of the award-winning Faith House Gallery and the Stables Studios. Tony was also at the forefront of the inception of the NDACA (the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive).
When considering whether to nominate someone for an honour, look not just at their achievements in the context of others, but at the impact of their life and work, and those deserving recipients will soon stand out – no matter who they are and what they do.
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