National award for creative Glenrothes man

Stuart Russell
Stuart Russell

A Glenrothes man is to be recognised with a national honour for promoting creativity locally through the creation of a successful project.

Stuart Russell (23) is to be given a British Citizen Award for his service to the arts on July 9.

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January this year to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals who make a positive impact in their communities.

BCAs are awarded twice a year and recognise people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Stuart has a passion for everything creative - from music to art and poetry - and he has devoted the past seven years to the industry by volunteering in a variety of projects. This is despite being told by teachers that he was unlikely to succeed in the arts world.

He founded media project, Arts In Fife, to give local artists a platform to discuss their work openly and freely.

He saw there were virtually no Fife-wide social art projects, so single handedly exposed a failure in arts and promotion locally and changed it.

Arts In Fife started as an arts e-zine, in 2013, introducing the public to local artwork. The project has since diversified to include an award winning radio show on a variety of local stations, a series of newsletters, local events, an awards scheme and a book.

The project works hard to promote inclusion in the arts, dispelling exclusion and encouraging people to engage with and support creative talent, providing people with a greater awareness and appreciation of local contemporary culture. Arts In Fife supports over 500 creative people.

Stuart received a British Empire Medal in 2014 for his contribution for voluntary arts in Fife and was recently made an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society for his contribution to youth.

Speaking about his nomination, Stuart said: “It feels surreal to be honoured with a British Citizen Award, it’s a great thing to be recognised for something that I love doing and have a passion for.

“Teachers always told me I would never succeed in the arts, but I guess they were wrong and I hope I’ll help other people like me walk in the same path and change the face of the industry, recognising the local talent on our doorstep.”

Stuart is one of 30 medalists who will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony on July 9, at the Palace of Westminster.

Stuart was nominated for a BCA by his mother, Lorraine McGrow, and seconded by Katy Neilson, operations manager at 02 Think Big.