Supporting Koestler Arts

For over 60 years, Koestler Arts has been unlocking hidden talents, fostering community awareness, and enriching the lives of people in the criminal justice system. None of this would be possible without our supporters.

As a small charity with no endowment, each year we rely on donations from generous individuals, groups and organisations to help us continue delivering our core work across the UK’s criminal justice system; including running the Koestler Awards, our Arts Mentoring programme, family engagement projects, and producing paid opportunities for artists with lived experience of prison.

Can you help us continue delivering hope and inspiration in secure settings across the UK?

Scroll down to see how our supporters are making a difference and how you can get involved.

Our Supporters

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the individuals, organisations, trusts, and foundations whose backing allows us to continue our core work to reach and motivate individuals across the UK’s criminal justice system to transform their lives.

Last year, thanks to their generosity…

We were delighted to open four exhibitions, in London, Scotland, Surrey and Southampton, and display work created by current & former entrants at fundraising and partnership events around London
100 expert judges from across the arts and cultural sector were able to join us to judge the Koestler Awards, including some famous faces like Jenny Eclair and Rich Miller, and over £30,000 in prize money was awarded to entrants
Feedback Days
We hosted 8 Feedback Days where over 30 volunteers joined us to write hundreds of bespoke comment cards, helping us to provide feedback to 88% of entrants
Our Outreach team visited over 20 secure establishments to hand out certificates, meet entrants and art tutors, and provide in-person feedback on their creative work.
We were able to offer Arts Mentoring to more than 20 prison leavers, providing much needed encouragement to continue developing their artistic talents
The Koestler Associates – the only arts-based membership scheme for prisoners in the UK – continued to grow, with 750 people now signed up to receive news and creative activity prompts from us in the post

Koestler Arts Centre Champions

After ten years of fundraising, Koestler Arts’ Capital Funding project has come to an end in 2024, with the opening of the new Koestler Arts Centre; an accessible space built with the complex needs of the charity in mind. None of this would have been possible without generous support from philanthropists, charitable trusts, Arts Council England, Hammersmith & Fulham Council, and Ministry of Justice.

With special thanks to The Clothworkers’ Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bernard Sunley Foundation, The Mila Charitable Organisation, Tudor Trust, Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS), The Murray family, Patrick Holmes, Sally Zimmermann, David Banks, Ariane Bankes, Marie Golding, The de Laszlo Foundation and John and Carol Wates.

Read more about the new Koestler Arts Centre!

Our Core work is only possible thanks to ongoing support from…

Our main funders Arts Council England, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, regular donations from our Friends and Koestler Patrons, who allow us to deliver the Koestler Awards, our Mentoring Scholarship Funders, and our Corporate partners.