July 27, 2017

Creative Champion Chanese wins an ART31 award celebrating her commitment to The Best of Us project.

Photos: Jason Pay

On Saturday 15 July 2017 at ART31’s UPrising event Chanese was presented with a certificate for her achievements alongside a prize of £500 to use towards achieving her Arts Award Silver.

When People United first met Chanese she had experienced few opportunities to engage with the arts, she was very shy and unsure about the creative activities on offer. As time went on her confidence and interest in the project increased, she quickly became passionate about working with artist-in-residence Nova Marshall to make artwork for the first community arts festival – Best Fest. She turned up early to help out, often came alone and was contributing ideas, making artwork, trying new things and collaborating with people of all ages.

Nova, Newington. Photography by Jason Pay-43

Chanese has volunteered hours of her time supporting Nova to run creative activities. In the run up to Best Fest in 2016, Chanese helped to run creative stalls at other local events to promote Best Fest, and despite her shyness she encouraged people to make artwork, teaching them how to weave.

Chanese now attends the weekly youth group; Newington’s Chill Club and is developing into a young arts leader. She takes on responsibility to help set-up creative sessions with Nova has worked with others to create three themed tipis that were exhibited at UPrising and Best Fest.


Chanese left school this Summer to begin a childcare course at a local college. This award will support Chanese to continue to engage in creative opportunities during the transition period of moving from school to college. Winning the award has boosted Chanese’s confidence, not only in her own creative abilities but also as a reminder that her amazing commitment to arts in her local area is valued and important. Chanese is very excited to progress with her Arts Award Silver. The ART31 Award will help her to achieve this goal; Chanese will use the prize to purchase tickets to exciting creative events, workshops and training. As well as to purchase special materials and her own equipment.

“When I found out that I had won I felt really happy and excited. Thanks to Nova and People United for nominating me and also thanks to ART31 for awarding me the prize. Also congratulations to all the other winners.

Before The Best of Us project there was no art things to do in Newington until I went to youth club one day and Nova invited me to be a Creative Champion. When I first started going to Creative Champions I was nervous and I wouldn’t speak to no one. I’ve been going for two and half years, I took part in Best Fest, I made artwork and went on lots of trips and had new experiences.

Now I’m more confident, I feel proud of myself and I am an artist. Thank-you.” Chanese, Creative Champion


Chanese speaks about her involvement in the The Best of Us project in the film below:


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