Recipients announced: Award for Civic Arts Organisations 2023

Re-Live, Golden Thread Gallery and People United are announced as recipients of the Award for Civic Arts Organisations. 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.
23 mar 2023


Today, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation announced the recipients of the third Award for Civic Arts Organisations, themed ‘Co-Creating the Future’. Re-Live will receive £100,000, and Golden Thread Gallery and People United will each receive £25,000. The three organisations were chosen by an independent panel, chaired by Baroness Deborah Bull, in recognition of their work transforming their local communities through art and co-creation. The three recipients are outstanding 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 high-quality applications from across the UK.

The recipients were announced in a virtual event that celebrated the work of the 10 shortlisted organisations and the growing international movement of arts and co-creation.

This accompanying series of case studies shares the inspiring stories and approaches from the shortlisted organisations.

About the recipients

This year’s recipients share a focus on creating local impact, and giving marginalised communities voices by placing them at the heart of their work. Based across the UK, and working across different art forms and communities, the three organisations all demonstrate how the arts can improve the cohesion and wellbeing of communities, even in challenging contexts.

  • Re-Live in Cardiff, the main recipient of £100,000, is 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. Through storytelling, Re-Live seeks to build compassion, encourage debate, and remind us of our shared humanity. Their approach to dementia care has been recognised by NHS Wales as a model of best practice.
  • Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, recipient of £25,000, is a contemporary art gallery providing a space that welcomes asylum seekers and refugee women and enables the local community to connect and share skills. In partnership with the Anak Collective and the WOW Foundation, the gallery and the women involved in their network created ‘Welcome to Belfast’ information packs, available in Arabic and Farsi, providing top tips to help other migrant women integrate in Northern Ireland.
  • People United in Canterbury, recipient of £25,000, is an arts 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 community sectors to jointly explore how to radically improve social care. Its ‘Future of Care’ programme has extended to collaborations with the Kent Refugee Action Network.

‘The organisations we chose to receive this year’s Award stood out for us because of the ways in which they are pioneering and embedding new ways of co-creating with their communities, putting people at the heart of their thinking. Each one offers an inspiring example of how arts and culture can make a meaningful difference to communities and to individuals, and we hope that this award will support them in doing even more to enhance and transform lives.’

Baroness Deborah Bull, Crossbench Peer (Chair of the Panel)


The Award is an initiative of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Access to Culture programme. The Award celebrates arts organisations that are rethinking relationships with the communities they serve and using the transformational power of art for individual and societal change.


About the Award Press release

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