The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), in partnership with King’s College London, has created a new award that celebrates the civic role of arts organisations in society. Offering one award of £100,000 and two of £25,000, the Award for Civic Arts Organisations aims to shine a spotlight on the vital role that arts organisations play in society. Its longlist is published on 4 December 2020.
Their belief is that it is "arts organisations that will help us shape the future: culture, creativity and the arts are the basis through which we tell stories of our past, our present and our future, enabling us to realise what it means to be fully human, individually and collectively".
In recognition that arts organisations across the country have channelled the difficulties of 2020 and remodelled their missions to put their communities first, the award will highlight these initiatives - such as delivering arts packs with food parcels and staging socially distanced carnivals - and how they help rebuild communities while continuing to play an important role throughout the UK.
The award is part of a suite of initiatives being supported by the Foundation in response to the pandemic. It is focusing on strengthening the arts and cultural sector to respond to urgent community needs, prioritise relevance, and become more inclusive and impactful.
Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, Neil Mendoza, said: "Art and culture have such an important role to play in offering hope and inspiration as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. This generous grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in partnership with King’s College London, recognises the vital civic role of the arts.
“This government has demonstrated its commitment to culture through an unprecedented £1.57 billion cultural recovery fund, which is already helping so many organisations across the country.
“I am delighted that these new awards will recognise the remarkable and pioneering work of arts organisations which have risen to the challenge of reinventing their work to help communities far and wide.”
The application process is now closed - the longlist will be announced on 4 December 2020.