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5 Art-Based Charitable Initiatives to Get Behind

Over the past year, many charitable initiatives using art as a way to raise funds, awareness and support, have emerged. Here are a few new initiatives, and some longer-standing arts charities doing invaluable work in the UK and around the world.

By Tatty Martin | 06 May 2021

Art for India

Image courtesy of Art for India's Instagram

Art for India was set up at the beginning of May 2021, in the wake of India’s battle against one of the world’s most destructive COVID-19 surges. The initiative was started by Heta Fell, Vivek Vadoliya and Danielle Pender, with the mission to raise urgent funds for India’s COVID-19 relief. 

Art for India takes the form of an online print sale, with works from celebrated Indian artists, as well as other artists coming together around the world. The sale is live until 9th May and all the proceeds are donated to Mission Oxygen, a Delhi-based initiative importing oxygen concentrators & donating them to hospitals throughout the country.  


Artists for Uyghurs 

Image courtesy of Artists for Uyghurs Instagram

Artists for Uyghurs is an artist-led campaign raising money for the Uyghur Tribunal; an investigation into China’s alleged mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims. The Uyghur Tribunal has been set up to investigate these alleged crimes, with the first hearing taking place on the 4th June.

The initiative started at the beginning of the year, with the aim of raising £20,000 for the Tribunal. Painters, photographers, makers and designers around the world have come together to sell their work, with all profits going directly to the Tribunal. 


Koestler Arts 

Image courtesy of Koestler Arts

Koestler Arts is a UK-based prison arts charity, with the mission to encourage people in the criminal justice system to change their lives by participating in the arts. Koestler believes that a creative outlet can motivate offenders, secure patients and detainees, and help them to lead a more positive life.

Koestler Arts offers people in the UK's criminal justice system mentoring, an award scheme and the opportunity to show art and poetry in exhibitions across the country. Koestler Arts hold an annual exhibition at the Southbank Centre, for which they have had guest curators, ranging from Antony Gormley to Soweto Kinch. 


Art for Charity Collective 

Image courtesy of Art for Charity Collective's Instagram

Art for Charity Collective raises funds and awareness for various initiatives and charities by holding two yearly auctions. ACC has already raised over £92,000 since it began in June 2020. 

Set up by artist Lucy Kent in the midst of the UK’s first lockdown as a way to offer artists support and a sense of community, so far ACC has raised funds for the Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme, research into Infant Leukaemia at GOSH and for the nonprofit organisation, A Space Between. 


Hospital Rooms

Image courtesy of Hospital Rooms

Hospital Rooms is a mental health and arts charity with the vision of providing NHS mental health wards and inpatient units across the UK with extraordinary art. With a belief that art can offer joy, stimulation and healing, so far Hospital Rooms has commissioned art from artists such as Gavin Turk and Nick Knight. 

Hospital Rooms was founded by artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White after visiting a friend in a mental health hospital and witnessing how cold and clinical the hospital environment was. Their first project took place in 2016 at the Phoenix Unit, a rehabilitation unit for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. From then on, Hospital Rooms has worked in NHS locations throughout the country. 

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