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24 March 2023

Award for Civic Arts Organisations 2023 recipients announced

Presented by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in partnership with King’s, three recipients were selected from a shortlist of 10 extraordinary organisations

Re-Live, a theatre company that puts wellbeing and health at the centre of storytelling, was one of the recipients
Re-Live, a theatre company that puts wellbeing and health at the centre of storytelling, was one of the recipients

Three recipients were announced at last night's celebration for the 2023 Award for Civic Arts Organisations. Presented by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and themed on ‘Co-Creating the Future’, the evening celebrated organisations that are unlocking the creativity of their communities to help shape a better collective future. 

The awardees were chosen from a shortlist of 10 organisations by an independent panel in recognition of their work transforming their local communities through art and co-creation. The recipients are examples of how arts organisations can improve wellbeing, spark life-changing conversations and forge tight-knit networks within communities. They were selected from over 336 applications from across the UK.

The recipients were: 

  • Re-Live in Cardiff - a theatre company that puts wellbeing and health at the centre of storytelling. Re-Live’s programmes help the elderly, those with dementia and military veterans to write and perform their stories as plays. The organisation offers training for health and social care workers. Award: £100,000
  • Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast - a contemporary art gallery providing a space that welcomes asylum seekers and refugee women and enables the local community to connect and share skills. Award: £25,000
  • People United in Canterbury - an arts and social care charity that works with young refugees and asylum seekers in Kent to share their stories with the world through art. Since 2006 the charity has helped many communities in need, including bringing together young people alongside the arts and social sectors to jointly explore how to radically improve social care. Award: £25,000

Their stories demonstrate the transformational power of art for individual and societal change and provide inspiration for the sector to scale its civic role work.

This year’s shortlist demonstrate how vital arts and culture can be in our fractured times, when we collectively imagine and create new futures together. We congratulate all the organisations, who will inspire our wider work at King’s in areas including co-production, creative health and sanctuary. Our students have brought each to life through practical case studies, which we hope others will find useful to generate change.

Beatrice Pembroke, Executive Director, Culture

Shortlist case studies by King's students

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

This partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation provides an opportunity for early career researchers to develop skills, and to diversify discussions around co-creation in the arts sector. The case studies share valuable lessons and can inspire other arts organisations to create social change.

Read the 10 case studies here:

  • Barbara Henry reflects on The Barn's work to co-create with people and the land.
  • Chiquita Kusumahadi writes on how shared ownership and shared space at Golden Thread Gallery helps encourage a sense of belonging and empowerment.
  • Hannah Story writes about Open Clasp Theatre Company who amplify the voices of women & girls through theatre.
  • Kathryn Mokrynski reports on Entelechy Art's work exploring how to give power back to communities at every level, by going on a journey “from cultural participation towards cultural ownership”.
  • Maria Danai Parlamas Pertejo reflects on Re-Live as a lighthouse for artistic practice, training, and research across Wales inspiring ‘the art of growing old’.
  • Maria Giulia Agusto writes about People United's work to amplify the voices of young people with lived experience of displacement.
  • Palina Shturma writes on Pop Up Projects' mission to present “the kind of books that give children and young people the empathy to understand that everyone is different.”
  • Saskia Rosenbach shares a summary of The Albany's work to support a community of creatives of all ages.
  • Sze Kee Jasmine Wong shares how co-creation at the Migration Museum is embedded into daily practice.
  • Xuefei Liu shares how Knowle West Media Centre used arts and technology to reflect the vibrancy of its community and support people in South Bristol to make positive social change.


Watch the 2023 celebration event

In this story

Beatrice Pembroke

Beatrice Pembroke

Executive Director, Culture