Honoured and surprised to receive two awards! in the 'blog Section'

2016 has been an fantastic year. I’ve loved working on recent commissions that have involved a return to pen and ink sketching then digitazed and printed large. UFO Steeelband – my other life – has gone from strength to strength and we’ve performed all over – from Notting Hill Carnival to the Refugee Welcome Summit in Birmingham. And my husband and four young people are happy healthy and amazing. One of the best things about 2016 was being totally surprised and very honoured to receive two awards.

The first was to be made a 2016 honoree of “The Women in Television and Film Visionary Awards.” Specifically I received ‘The WIFTS Arts Advocay Award 2016’ – I am totally thrilled!

This is the short film produced for the awards event. Watching it I feel genuinely moved remembering all the great people – especially the children – from the many schools and community projects, and remembering their fantastic art and good times during the adventure.

This is a link to more about the award  http://www.thewifts.org/2016Honoree_fiona-hawthorne.php

A couple of months later I was again thrilled ad surprised to be nominated a Southbank Centre’s Changemaker, in recognition of all the years working with Fox Carnival Masquerade Band on projects for Notting Hill Carnival. It was great to meet the other Changemakers from all over UK and to see their work, but the best part of the day was offering up some of my work for the Southbank Festival. Instead of a carnival arts workshop, I suggested UFO Steelband play.  I got to play pan at the Royal Festival Hall – a fantastic ending to a wonderful day! This gig was particularly special for UFOs as we launched the UFO Pilots, our unique band section for blind and partiallly sighted players. They sounded great and went down a storm and we were able to demonstrate to the public how steelpan offers great access to music, and needs to be brought into the musical mainstream. To see our steelband website click here.

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The UFO Pilots playing their first gig

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