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EDP People’s Choice finalists are revealed for Norfolk Arts Awards

15:26 09 September 2015

EDP People

EDP People's Choice Awards nominee - Frozen Light.

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Inspiring artists, much-loved venues and spectacular events are among the people’s choice when it comes to Norfolk’s stars of the arts.

EDP People's Choice Awards finalist - GoGoDragons! Photo: Mark Ivan Benfield.EDP People's Choice Awards finalist - GoGoDragons! Photo: Mark Ivan Benfield.

More than 6,000 votes were cast online for the EDP People’s Choice Awards, which will be presented at the Norfolk Arts Awards ceremony later this month.

Today we can reveal the final three in each of the three categories – individual, small organisation and large organisation.

As well as gaining a great deal of votes, each one of the finalists received glowing praise from those who nominated them, and together they provide a wonderful snapshot of the great wealth of cultural champions that make Norfolk’s arts scene so vibrant.

Norfolk Arts Awards founder Peter Beck described the amount of people voting this year as “absolutely incredible” and said the nine finalists showed how diverse and treasured Norfolk’s arts scene is.

EDP People's Choice Award finalist - Alice LeeEDP People's Choice Award finalist - Alice Lee

He said: “These are all organisations and individuals who do high quality work that touches a lot of people, and this is a great opportunity to thank them for all their hard work and what they do for the city and county.

“They help to put the county on the map. We are lucky here in Norfolk to have so much going on in the arts.”

The Norfolk Arts Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 19 at the Maddermarket Theatre. Tickets for the event cost £15. To book, visit www.maddermarket.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 620917. For more about the awards, visit www.norfolkartsawards.com

The Norfolk Arts Awards, in association with the EDP, are part of the Hansells Hostry Festival which will run from October 19 to 31. Visit www.hostryfestival.org

Stopgap Dance Company taking Norfolk and Norwich Festival-goers on whistle-stop tour of a bygone era in their playful production Bill & Bobby. Dancers
 Lucy Bennet and David Toole pay tribute to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Photo : Steve AdamsStopgap Dance Company taking Norfolk and Norwich Festival-goers on whistle-stop tour of a bygone era in their playful production Bill & Bobby. Dancers Lucy Bennet and David Toole pay tribute to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Photo : Steve Adams

Do you have an arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

Finalists in the individual category:

• Alice Lee is a Norwich-based artist who also champions other artists’ work by curating exhibitions at The Birdcage and doing voluntary work at Outpost.

EDP People's Choice Awards nominee - Matt ReeveEDP People's Choice Awards nominee - Matt Reeve

She has helped many local artists with their first exhibitions and has encouraged them on their creative journeys.

She is described as having a “tireless commitment to the practical support and advocacy of artists working in Norwich” and is said to have made the art scene more accessible to wider audiences.

• Matt Reeve is a Felthorpe-based artist who is involved in many projects that aim to inspire people to be creative and enjoy art.

He is described as having “an amazing devotion to the promotion of art and enjoyment of creativity” and is said to have done fantastic work with young people. He designed three of Norwich’s GoGoDragons! – Aurelia, VroomVroom and Patch – and illustrated the children’s book Norwich: City of Dragons.

Diss Corn HallDiss Corn Hall

• Mik Richardson is a self-taught Norwich-based artist who has been involved in lots of different school and community art events across the county, ranging from Norwich’s GoGoGorillas! and GoGoDragons! to decorating skips in Great Yarmouth. In the recent GoGoDragons! trail he designed the dragons Steam – The Clockwork Dragon, Biggles and Soup Dragon. His work is said to have brightened up many different parts of Norfolk and made people smile.

Finalists in the small organisation category:

• Frozen Light is a Norwich-based company creating sensory theatre performances for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. The company has a passion for stories, adventures and engaging interactive theatre, and is currently touring with its new show The Forest.

Norwich Arts Centre. 
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.Norwich Arts Centre. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

• Diss Corn Hall is described as an “amazing small arts venue” that offers a brilliant mixture of events from theatre to music, comedy, poetry and storytelling. It is run mainly by volunteers and – because a refurbishment of the hall is now under way – the venue is taking its events programme on tour.

• Norwich Arts Centre is a vibrant arts venue that presents a varied programme of live music, live art, theatre, comedy and live literature, and is also a great champion of emerging talent.

The city venue is a previous EDP People’s Choice Awards winner.

It is described as flying the flag for excellence across multiple art forms.

EDP People's Choice Awards finalist - Norwich Theatre RoyalEDP People's Choice Awards finalist - Norwich Theatre Royal

Finalists in the large organisation category:

• Norwich Theatre Royal is the biggest regional theatre in the east and offers entertainment for all the family, ranging from large-scale touring musicals to serious drama and its Christmas pantomime, which the theatre produces itself.

Last year’s pantomime saw Peter Pan take audiences to Neverland and this year’s production is Snow White.

EDP People's Choice Award finalist - Mik RichardsonEDP People's Choice Award finalist - Mik Richardson

The theatre also has a great education programme and is developing a new training and skills centre.

• Norfolk and Norwich Festival is a 17-day festival that every May presents acts from around the world and closer to home in venues across Norwich and Norfolk. One of the 2015 highlights was the open air spectacle Wolf’s Child at Felbrigg Hall. The festival is described as being “adventurous and entertaining” and having a reputation for “innovative and inspirational performance.”

• GoGoDragons! was a trail of 84 dragons that decorated Norwich over the summer. The event was organised by children’s charity Break and Wild in Art.

Each dragon was created by a local artist and sponsored by an organisation, and there was also a baby dragons trail created by local children.

The project captivated people of all ages, and was said to have brought “huge opportunities for appreciation of the arts to those who wouldn’t dream of entering a gallery.”

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