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What’s the People’s Art Prize?

It’s the UK’s first and only prize for community art, sometimes also called participatory art, socially engaged practice or public art.

This prize celebrates the making of connections, the opening of minds and the sparking of creativity that comes when a group of people come together to create art. It also showcases some of the most original, creative and interesting pieces of art in the UK today.

The prize is £1,000 cash.  Runners up and shortlisted candidates will also be acknowledged by the judging committee and provided with the People’s Art Prize logo to use in marketing and fundraising.

What do you mean community? And what kind of art?

Art can be created by any community – from adults with learning difficulties to local residents to schoolchildren. And the art can be anything from mosaic to landscape gardening, quilt making to sculpting, film to painting and beyond!

With community art, how it is made is as important as the final creation – it has to involve a group of people, of any size, who share something in common, whether it’s where they live, their age, a life experience or something else. This is different to art that is made solely by a professional artist that’s placed in a public space and enjoyed by the community.

You don’t have to be an ‘official’ artist to have organised a community art event. Perhaps you’re getting together a group of teenagers to create a mural – it might not be funded by an arts organisation – but it’s still eligible for the People’s Art Prize.

Is there any charge to enter my art?

No. Arts Express, which runs the People’s Art Prize, is a registered charity. The prize is a non-profit award scheme intended to benefit the community arts sector as well as awarding an outstanding piece of community artwork.

When we originally set the People’s Art Prize up, it would not have been sustainable to continue the prize without applicant paying a fee. Happily, because we have secured a sponsor for the 2016 prize, you can now enter your art completely free.

Why is community art important?

Community art is something all people in all communities can enjoy. This prize is a much-needed clarion call: community art has a lasting impact on the spaces we live in and the people who live in them. We set out to recognize the amazing work artists are doing in this field and to ensure it is supported and enjoyed for generations to come.

Who are Arts Express and Curious Kid?

Arts Express ran community art projects, workshops and programmes from 2000 to 2014 in and around South London.  The People’s Art Prize is the legacy of this experience in and passion for community art.

Curious Kid are a fresh, new ethical, London-based non-profit social enterprise made up of communications specialists, designers, and filmmakers. We understand the charity sector – and not-for-profit communications – inside out.


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