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A conversation with Leah Black, Chief Executive of WHALE Arts

WHALE Arts is a community-led arts charity and social enterprise in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh.

In 2019, WHALE won a SURF Award for Best Practice in Community Regeneration in the Creative Regeneration category, sponsored by Creative Scotland, following recent winners including RIG Arts, Findhorn Bay Arts, The Stove Network, Laurieston’s ‘Open Spaces’ led by WAVEparticle and North Edinburgh Arts.

Recently, we had a chat with Leah Black, Chief Executive of WHALE Arts, about what the organisation has been up to recently, the impact of winning the SURF Creative Regeneration Award, and her advice for those considering entering their project for an award.

The 2020 SURF Awards will have a particular focus, where relevant, on rewarding and showcasing projects who have adapted, or created, services to support their communities through the Covid-19 crisis.  The categories include:

  • Creative Regeneration
  • Housing and Regeneration
  • Community Led Regeneration
  • Supporting Youth Employability
  • Scotland’s Most Improved Place

The 2020 SURF Award for Creative Regeneration, sponsored by Creative Scotland, will reward best practice in placing arts, artists and creativity at the heart of community regeneration efforts. This will include highlighting creative organisations and projects which have adapted to support communities during the Covid-19 crisis, as well as plans to support the recovery and rebuilding of their communities in future.

Applications are open now, and close on Monday 7th September, followed by a shortlisting process and visits to shortlisted projects by a panel of judges. Winners will be announced on 10 December.

For full information on the 2020 application process and more information on previous Awards, please visit the SURF website

Find out more about WHALE Arts

This article was published on 22 Jun 2020