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Deveron Projects shortlisted for £100,000 civic arts award

Published: 12 Jan 2021

Photo of an Honesty Shop with two people wearing face masks

Huntly residents at the Honesty Shop established in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

A leading North East arts organisation, Deveron Projects, has been shortlisted for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Award for Civic Arts Organisations it was announced today, 12 January 2021. Deveron Projects beat off competition from over 250 organisations across the UK to make the 10-strong shortlist for the award which recognises how organisations have boldly reimagined their missions to put their communities first during the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be one award of £100,000 and two of £25,000 with the selection process due to take place in March 2021.

In the light of lockdown Deveron Projects rethought its local-global Artist in Residence policy, leading to the creation of a local honesty shop with a Baker in Residence, which became a focal point to meet when restrictions allowed it. Meanwhile, the annual Slow Marathon was reconfigured growing a community of walkers worldwide who shared their lockdown walks to circumnavigate the world. The project, led by artist and Glasgow School of Art graduate Iman Tajik, has also resulted in a collage comprising 1,500 photographs of the sky from the thousands submitted by walkers from across the globe.

Iman Tajik who led Under One Sky, the reimagined Slow Marathon.
Iman Tajik who led Under One Sky, the reimagined Slow Marathon

Andrew Barnett, Director of the UK Branch, says: “We have been deeply impressed by the quality of the 260 submissions received and want to thank those who applied. Up and down the country, arts organisations have been playing a pivotal role in sustaining our communities, providing connection, joy, and hope. The ten shortlisted organisations are each uniquely modelling what it means to have a civic role. Their approaches will inform and inspire the work of others at this challenging time.”

“We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award,” says Director of Deveron Projects, Claudia Zeiske. “We are particularly pleased that our commitment to continue putting the community at the heart of our work and the projects developed in response to the challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic have been recognised.”

The full shortlist chosen from 260 applications is: Deveron Projects (Huntly) Eden Court, (Inverness), EGO Performance Company Ltd (Coventry), Friction Arts (Birmingham), Heart n Soul (London), Key Changes (London), Museum of Homelessness (London), Quiet Down There CIC (Brighton), The Big House Theatre Company (London) The Whitworth (Manchester). The Award is funded by the Foundation, with King’s College London as the academic partner to deliver the award, involving students from the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. Baroness Bull (Deborah Bull), Vice President & Principal (London) and Senior Advisory Fellow for Culture at King’s College London chaired the judging panel.

Baroness Bull, Vice President & Vice Principal (London) at King’s College London and chair of the judges, comments: “It was a privilege to review the range of submissions to the award, which came from across the whole of the UK and which demonstrated the imaginative ways in which the cultural sector has responded creatively and with great resilience to the challenges of this exceptional year. We were inspired as a panel to see how organisations large and small had connected with their communities to serve local needs while continuing to deliver life-enhancing opportunities through culture and creativity.”


The Award is part of a suite of initiatives being supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in response to the pandemic. It is focusing on strengthening the arts and cultural sector to respond to urgent community needs, prioritise relevance, and become more inclusive and impactful.