ACAVA shortlisted for the Award for Civic Arts Organisations

We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the second edition of the Award for Civic Arts Organisations. The Award – funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), with King’s College London – celebrates the outstanding practice of arts organisations, shining a spotlight on how they are rethinking their own relationships with the communities they serve as we emerge from a period of disruption and acceleration of trends in the art world and in society.

ACAVA have run studios and community arts programmes in North Kensington for over 20 years and have built trust and visibility in the area through strong relationships with local voluntary organisations, schools, faith groups and residents. This shortlisting recognises the value and impact of these programmes throughout a period that has been affected not only by the pandemic but also by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.  
From outdoor family workshops in a Forest School to co-creating the memorial mosaic with the communities affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and an open ‘Men’s Shed’ makerspace – our range of welcoming and inclusive spaces where people can create art have a transformational effect on their wellbeing. People that come to our sessions cite opportunities to experiment and engage creatively without pressure; access to outdoor space; and the consistent, reliable presence of experienced staff as factors that empower them to take part.  
Last year, 260 organisations submitted an application to the Award which together constitute a rich tapestry of imaginative and humanitarian responses to heightened levels of need and a cultural sector that is open to change and resilient when connected to the community.   
Our CEO Tom Holley commented: “It’s an absolute privilege to have been one of ten selected from over 200 entries to make the shortlist of this year’s prize. For us it recognises the value and impact of our co-created community programmes in North Kensington throughout a period that has been affected not only by the pandemic but also by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire. Our shortlisting is a testament to our community’s creative skills, playfulness, imagination and a shared belief that creativity is for everyone.   

“We are in the company of incredible arts organisations who are delivering inspiring work with and for communities across the UK.  Collectively it demonstrates the power of being creative and what can be achieved through true collaboration, especially through challenging times.”

Read more about our programmes here and The Award for Civic Arts Organisations 2022 here.


Listing information  

For further information please contact: 

Lorna Gemmell 
Head of Communications and Marketing  

Sara Nunes Fernandes
Communications Manager


About ACAVA 

We are a leading arts education charity that evolved from artist-led initiatives in the early 1970s. For 50 years we have been amongst the UK’s most progressive affordable studio and workspace providers. 
With a portfolio of 20 studio buildings, exhibition spaces and workshops across nine London boroughs, three locations in Essex and an industrial heritage site in Stoke-on-Trent we support a community of over 400 creative practitioners and cultural organisations.  
A pioneer of delivering arts in health and wellbeing settings, we bring professional artists together with local communities in programmes to explore their creativity with transformational outcomes. 
ACAVA stands for the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art. Created as a statement of radical intent by the artist founders to use culture for social good, it remains the ethos of our organisation today. / @ACAVAarts


Lorna Gemmell, Head of Communications and Marketing

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