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01 February 2023

Shortlist announced for 2023 Award for Civic Arts Organisations

Presented by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in partnership with King’s, the award highlights innovative ways arts organisations work with their communities across the UK.

logo for the award for civic arts organisation with different colours

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), in partnership with King’s, has announced the 2023 shortlist for the award that celebrates the civic role of arts organisations in society.

The 10 organisations shortlisted for the third year of the Award for Civic Arts Organisations demonstrate the diversity and quality of co-creation work taking place in the UK arts sector today. The recipients of the £150,000 awards will be announced in an online ceremony in March.

The award is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, with King’s as the academic partner, involving students from the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries (CMCI) in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. Students matched with each of the shortlisted organisations will research and publish case studies on their work, analysing how they are fulfilling their civic role and contributing to society.

In these challenging times, we’re delighted to work with Gulbenkian again to shine a light on extraordinary arts organisations working with communities for positive social change. Building on our long history of impactful and mutually beneficial cultural partnerships, King’s CMCI students will also gain distinctive skills by researching and profiling these unique case studies.

Beatrice Pembroke, Director for Culture at King’s

Coming from all four nations in the UK and operating in diverse contexts and communities, the shortlisted organisations represent co-creation at all scales. They deliver work in a range of interesting ways – from developing theatre with working-class women to bringing the arts and climate together in rural communities.

The art forms and engagement practices across the shortlisted organisations are varied too – such as putting local voices at the centre of decision-making, equipping people with skills, creating neutral spaces for discussion, or partnering with the social sector.

The shortlisted organisations’ work demonstrates the many individual and social benefits of co-creation – including helping people find joy and a sense of identity, as well as social cohesion, including in challenging contexts.

The ten organisations on the shortlist are:
Entelechy Arts, London
Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol
Migration Museum, London
Open Clasp Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne
People United, Canterbury
Pop Up Projects, London/Nationwide
Re-Live, Cardiff
The Albany, London
The Barn, Aberdeenshire

The organisations were selected from a total of 336 award applications – the highest number to date.

From the shortlist, the Award for Civic Arts Organisations will offer one award of £100,000 and two of £25,000.

In this story

Beatrice Pembroke

Executive Director, Culture