Marsh Award for Arts Society Committee of the Year

This Award was set up to recognise the collective and voluntary achievements of committee members who have established and driven the activities of the societies, through great dedication and creative ways of engaging with members of the community.

Nominations for the Award are put forward by local societies and are judged by a panel consisting of Arts Society and MCT representatives.

The Arts Society Sedgemoor 2022

Despite the challenges of lockdown and the pandemic, immediate past Chairman Adrian Forber and current Chairman David Chiverton have managed to keep their rural society alive. Many members live in isolated circumstances and the maintenance of regular meetings, albeit over Zoom, has helped to ensure that they are kept up to date and have the social atmosphere of being part of the Arts Society to enjoy. The Arts Society Sedgemoor are known to be one of the friendliest societies in the South West and have managed to increase their membership numbers over the pandemic. The Society is now in a strong and lively position to move forward, and this is thanks to the contributions of their committee members.


Highly CommendedThe Arts Society Stratford Upon Avon – for their contributions to moving the activities of their society online during the pandemic to keep a full programme of lectures available for their members.


Previous Winners

Arts Society Mid Wales and Borders and Arts Society Maidenhead

Committee of the Year 

The Arts Society Mid Wales and Borders have overcome declining membership numbers in recent years by taking their members into consideration, focusing on a new and more accessible location and new meeting times that work for as many of their members as possible. Members travel considerable distances to attend and visit the branch, even though it is in a rural location, and have helped make this a thriving Society which reaches out to some of the most vulnerable members of the local community. 

New Society Committee

The Arts Society Maidenhead started in 2017 and have just celebrated the end of their second active year as a Society. Within their first year they managed to grow membership to 250 and have achieved a lot in a short amount of time, working with many schools and the local community thanks to their enthusiastic and proactive membership.  

Arts Society Shrewsbury and Arts Society Nadder Valley

Arts Society Shrewsbury
The Committee of the Arts Society Shrewsbury work well together as a cohesive group helping and supporting one another. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the Society has been able to organise a number of events including a Golden Jubilee Celebration featuring a lecture by Jane Choy-Thurlow from the Hague to which they invited a group from Shrewsbury’s twin town of Zutphen in Holland, encouraging friendship and further contact between the towns.
The Society’s Young Arts team have found sponsorship for prizes and activities involving local schoolchildren, who’s teachers have reported greatly enjoyed seeing their work displayed and recognised. The Society have also managed to recruit six new Church Recording volunteers and Heritage Volunteers. They have arranged international trips for their members which provide them with new experiences and events closer to home which have attracted a wide range of audiences. The Arts Society Shrewsbury achieved a great deal past year and thanks to the imagination and energy of their dedicated Committee.

Arts Society Nadder Valley
This committee have successfully seen the Society through its inaugural year, despite some saying that a meeting on a Friday evening would not attract the numbers, and have amassed a dedicated membership of 250. Responding to the feedback of their members, the Society have introduced a family membership to attract members with young children and will introduce arts activities for these members to bring their children along to during the school holidays.
The Society have launched an online members feedback forum for lectures which has seen responses from around 80% of members and will help to inform future lectures. The Committee also sends a monthly online newsletter to all members which means they reach even those members who do not attend the lectures. They hold two member lunches a month to share ideas and help them towards their goal of creating a warm and friendly society which is so far proving to be successful.

Wrekin Arts Society

The Society Committee of the Wrekin Group, in Shropshire, has made an impressive revival since being in decline seven years ago. They have transformed into a thriving Society with 300 members, building links with local museums, churches and charitable trusts and making a positive difference to the local arts and heritage community through donations that exceed £8,000 a year.

They have also developed a professional lecture programme for the general public, active heritage volunteering and church recording groups and a wide-ranging Young Arts programme which brings together state and private schools.

Take a look at this short film for more about this winning Society.


Sandwich DFAS and Macclesfield DFAS

Sandwich DFAS has made an incredible achievement by reviving their society from ‘the brink of collapse’ and revamping their programme of activities to engage with a larger and more diverse audience. The committee has run more taster lectures, brought engaging speakers to events, changed the format of their lectures, offered reduced membership rates for young people and promoted and gained more publicity about their activities.

Highly Commended
Macclesfield DFAS is another successful society which is being run by a committee without a Chairman or Vice Chairman. Through the collective efforts of the committee they are managing to run a number of activities including Young Arts programmes, heritage volunteering with local museums and a range of lectures and study days for the community.