Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

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No Lockdown in the Imagination

No Lockdown in the Imagination is a powerful installation across the outdoor spaces of London’s Southbank Centre. Open from 12 November – 13 December 2020.

Creativity has been prisoners’ escape and saviour during the pandemic. Using limited materials and unlimited imaginations, people across our criminal justice system have kept themselves going. No Lockdown in the Imagination showcases some of this important artwork, which was entered into this year’s Koestler Awards, despite all the challenges faced by the criminal justice system.

The money spent in this shop will go to support our aims – to run the Koestler Awards and to raise public awareness of the value of prisoners’ creativity as part of their rehabilitative journey.