Recipients announced for the Award for Civic Arts Organisations 2022

The second edition of the £150,000 Award given by the UK Branch in partnership with King's College London goes to The Art House, Project Art Works and In Place of War CIO.

Chosen from a shortlist of ten finalists, the three winning organisations were selected for their dedication and work with communities through the arts over the past two years of the pandemic in the UK. The Award is given by the UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in association with King’s College London.

The largest share of the Prize will go to The Art House (£100,000, approx. €120,000) in Wakefield, which in the last two years has created the first ‘Studio of Sanctuary’ for asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and provided free temporary spaces for artists and creative businesses, amongst other initiatives. The remaining £50,000 will be split equally between the collective Project Art Works (Hastings), recognised for defending diversity and providing a platform for people and issues often ignored by society and the arts world, and ln Place of War, whose work focuses on conflict zones around the world, inspiring hope and developing skills among refugees and other vulnerable communities.  

Louisa Hooper, Interim Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch, says the Award aims to “spotlight the transformational power of art for individual and societal change and provide a lever for organisations to scale their civic role work.”, hoping that “reading about this year’s recipients – and how they have played a central role in their communities in the most innovative ways – provides inspiration for other organisations too”.

Baroness Bull, Vice President and Senior Advisory Fellow for Culture at King’s College London, adds that “this year’s Award candidates exemplify the creativity, flexibility and resilience that arts organisations across the UK have demonstrated in response to the challenges of the pandemic years”, noting that the winners have distinguished themselves “because of their evidenced commitment to their civic role: to championing diverse voices, to developing skills and creativity, to co-creation and to dissolving the barriers between the practice of art and the impact it has for communities and society.”

The announcement of the winning entities was made yesterday in an online ceremony. The first edition of the Prize, in 2021, had been awarded to Heart n Soul (London), Eden Court (Inverness, Scotland), Museum of Homelessness (London), and The Whitworth (Manchester).

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Updated on 29 march 2022

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