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Cogapp and Hospital Rooms up for Webby Award

Hospital Rooms and Cogapp announced today that they have been nominated for Best Virtual & Remote: Health & Wellness in the 25th Annual Webby Awards. Hospital Rooms Digital Art School is nominated in the Best Virtual & Remote: Health & Wellness category.

You can vote online to help Hospital Rooms and Cogapp win the Internet’s top honour.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organisation honouring excellence on the Internet.

“Nominees like Hospital Rooms and Cogapp are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet” — Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards

Hospital Rooms is an arts and mental health charity that commissions extraordinary artworks for NHS mental health inpatient units across the UK. When the global pandemic hit in Spring 2020 — and in-person access to wards became impossible — Hospital Rooms needed to take their workshops online for the first time.

The artists leading these digital sessions have exhibited in many of the world’s best galleries and have taught in some of the country’s best art schools, including Royal Academy Schools, Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins.

In May 2020 grants from Arts Council England’s Emergency Fund and City Bridge Trust through London Funders allowed Hospital Rooms and Cogapp to launch the Hospital Rooms Digital Art School and respond quickly to growing isolation felt by service users in locked and secure mental health units in London, where all leave and visits had been stopped.

Now in its sixth term, the Hospital Rooms Digital Art School has hosted more than 40 live workshops and has reached more than 100 mental health services a week nationally, offering on-demand tutorials and free art materials to units thanks to Seasalt Cornwall, Winsor & Newton, and Colart. It has been generously supported by the UK Government and Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund.

“Nominees like Hospital Rooms and Cogapp are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 13,500 entries we received this year.”

“We are delighted that Hospital Rooms Digital Art School has been nominated for a Webby.” said Tim A Shaw, co-founder of Hospital Rooms. “At the beginning of the first lockdown, to continue to reach people in inpatient mental health units, we started the Hospital Rooms Digital Art School. With Cogapp’s technical guidance, we launched the programme very quickly, and since then more than 50 top artists have led live art workshops that have been joined by thousands of people in mental health units and at home, building a new online creative community.”

“Our patients have loved this process. Some, who have never before engaged in art have cut their leave short to attend sessions. Others have wept tears of joy, described workshops as ‘the best day of their lives’ and told us that the sessions have eased times of utter despair. Thank you Hospital Rooms.”

Staff Member, Hellingly Centre

Hospital Rooms was co-founded by artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White after a close friend was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. They were shocked to find that the environment that she was in at this very distressing time was not only cold and clinical, but also dilapidated and run down.

The London-based arts and mental health charity has undertaken a number of acclaimed projects, completed in some of the most challenging mental health settings. It brings together world-class artists, patients, and staff to radically transform inpatient mental health units across the UK. These units look after people with severe and enduring mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, mania, psychosis, personality disorders, and dementia.

More about the Hospital Rooms Digital Art School

IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of Internet industry experts including:

  • Mitchell Baker; MOMA Senior Curator
  • Paola Antonelli; Host of NPR’s Code Switch
  • Shereen Marisol Meraji; R/GA Global Chief Creative Officer
  • Tiffany Rolfe; Co-Inventor of the Internet
  • Vint Cerf; DJ and Founder, Club Quarantine
  • D-Nice; Co-host Desus & Mero on Showtime
  • Desus Nice; SVP of Content at Twitch
  • Michael Aragon; Twitter Senior Director, Product Design
  • Richard Ting; and
  • Founders of VERZUZ Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, and honoured in a star-studded, virtual show that will be available on demand. The celebration will be hosted by multi-talented actress, writer, podcaster, host, and advocate Jameela Jamil.

Winners will have an opportunity to deliver one of The Webby Awards’ famous 5-Word Speeches. Past 5-Word Speeches include Steve Wilhite’s “It’s Pronounced “Jif” not ‘Gif’; NASA’s “Houston We Have A Webby”; and Solange’s “I Got Five On It.”

Vote for Cogapp and Hospital Rooms now.