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Slung Low’s Alan Lane, disability champion Andrew Miller and Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Moira Sinclair are among those receiving awards for their service.

Sharon Watson
Sharon Watson MBE

© David Lindsay

Several people leading the work of trusts and foundations serving the arts are prominent among those recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours list.

Caroline Mason, CEO of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation becomes a dame, while knighthoods go to Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund for ten years until 2020, and Guy Weston, Chair of the Garfield Weston Foundation, the largest family grant-making foundation in the UK.

OBEs go to Andrew Barnett, Director of the UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation since September 2007, for services to social change, and to Moira Sinclair, CEO of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, for services to charity and the arts.

Education leaders

Andrew Thompson, formerly Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is awarded a CBE for his services to research.

Other leaders of academic institutions include Philip Archer, previously at Letih School of Art, who receives an OBE. 

Deborah Scully at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama receives an MBE, as does Sharon Watson, previously the longest-standing Artistic Director of Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre and now Principal at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Covid honours

There is recognition for a number of arts professionals for their work since the start of the pandemic.

Jane Ide, now CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills, was previously CEO of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action. There she was at the heart of the national voluntary sector response to Covid, playing a lead role in the collaborative campaign by voluntary sector infrastructure bodies and achieving a £750m emergency package to support charities. She receives an OBE.

An MBE goes to Director of BBC Arts Jonty Claypole, for creating the Culture in Quarantine Virtual Festival of Arts. Andrew Hurst, CEO of One Dance UK, also receives an MBE, for services to dance, particularly during the Covid-19 response. 

Andrew Miller, cultural consultant and Government Disability Champion for arts & culture, was among the founders of #WeShallNotBeRemoved, an alliance formed in response to concerns that progress toward the inclusion of disabled people across the cultural mainstream will be undermined by the Covid crisis. He receives an MBE.

Among the BEM recipients is Alan Lane, Artistic Director of Slung Low, the Leeds-based theatre company that turned its attention to feeding the local community during lockdown. Trish Wheatley, CEO of Disability Arts Online, also receives a BEM.

Community awards

As usual, the work of those leading arts activity in their local communities is also recognised in this year’s list. 

Billy Hui, Founder & Musical Director of SingMe Merseyside Choir and Rachel Adam, Project Director of the Creative People and Places project Bait, are among the 17 arts professionals and volunteers to receive BEMs.

BEMs also go to David Stanley, Founder and Director of The Music Man project; Aakash Odedra and Anand Bhatt for the work of Aakash Odera Company in Leicester; and Margaret Campbell for services to Pipe Bands and Sollus Highland Dancers. 

New Year honours for arts professionals

Dames and Knighthoods

  • Stephen Deuchar, The Art Fund
  • Jane Glover, conductor 
  • Sheila Hancock, actor
  • Christopher Le Brun, artist
  • Caroline Mason, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
  • Graham Vick, opera director
  • Guy Weston, Garfield Weston Foundation


  • Julian Anderson, composer
  • William Barry Douglas, concert pianist
  • Daniel Harding, conductor
  • Wasfi Kani, Grange Park Opera
  • Michael Landy, artist
  • Lesley Manville, actor
  • Andrew Thompson, Arts and Humanities Research Council


  • Philip Archer, Leith School of Art
  • Colin Balsam, services to the music industry
  • Andrew Barnett, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK)
  • Natalie Clein, cellist
  • William Dudley, stage designer
  • Stuart Hopps, choreographer
  • Toby Jones, actor
  • Jane Ide, Creative & Cultural Skills    
  • Jennifer Lee, potter
  • Bob Lockyer, services to dance and broadcasting
  • Wayne Marshall, conductor and organist
  • Moira Sinclair, Paul Hamlyn Foundation


  • Raymond Antrobus, poet
  • Hannah Barry, Bold Tendencies
  • Halima Cassell, sculptor
  • Jonty Claypole, BBC Arts
  • Eleanor Constantine, Arts Council Collection
  • Bradley Creswick, Royal Northern Sinfonia
  • Philip Cross, Starcross Youth Theatre
  • Lizzie Crump, What Next?
  • Simon Danciger, OSO Arts Centre
  • Craig David, Singer, Songwriter and Record Producer
  • Sally Dynevor, actor
  • Denzil Forrester, artist
  • David Hamilton, Phoenix Dance Theatre
  • Robert Heard, services to the arts and to charitable fundraising
  • Andrew Hurst, One Dance Uk
  • John Kirkpatrick, services to Folk Music
  • Duncan Mcdonald, services to Scottish Traditional Music
  • Greta Mendez, services to Dance
  • Suzanne Miell-Ingram, Singing Hands
  • Andrew Miller, arts consultant and broadcaster
  • Deborah Scully, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Chitra Sundaram, services to South Asian Dance
  • James Trott, Brass for Africa
  • Tracy Upton, Singing Hands
  • Jo Verrent, Unlimited
  • Sharon Watson, Northern School of Contemporary Dance
  • Joanne Wheeler, services to the arts and people with disabilities
  • Kimberly Wide, Take A Part


  • Rachel Adam, Bait
  • Anand Bhatt, Dance City and Aakash Odera Company
  • Margaret Campbell, for services to Pipe Bands and Sollus Highland Dancers
  • Norma Carroll, Coloma Convent Girls' School
  • Thomas Croft, services to the arts and to charity
  • Sharon Higgins, services to the performing arts
  • Billy Hui, SingMe Merseyside Choir
  • John Jasper, Wellington Arts Association
  • Steven Kapur, Apache Indian Music Academy
  • Catherine Knapp-Evans, services to the arts and to the community
  • Alan Lane, Slung Low
  • Aakash Odedra, Aakash Odedra Company
  • Melanie Shand, services to the arts and to the community
  • Catharine Sinnadurai, services to dance education, training and performance
  • David Stanley, Music Man Project
  • Trish Wheatley, Disability Arts Online
  • David Williams, services to the Arts in Wales
Liz Hill