We are the UK's best-known prison arts charity. We have been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 50 years.
Our awards receive over 8,000 entries a year - inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Our national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors - showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.
We have no endowment or capital - our work depends entirely on donations. More
We are really pleased to announce that our Application Form (pdf) and Guidance Notes (pdf) are now available for download.
This year : the 2014 themed award is 'Dreams' and will be judged by the Olympic Champion Katherine Grainger.
New artform categories include: Creative Response, Printmaking, Hand-made Books and Arts Projects, more on the artforms
£300 prize for the establishment that gets the most amount of entries to us by 28 Feb
As part of our 50th Year Anniversary we have put together a book celebrating the achievements of some of our most talented writers and artists.
We have a special offer, find out more
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that offenders who have taken part successfully in the arts while in prison fully intend to carry on when they are released, but in practice fail to do so. Like many other positive habits and plans made in custody, arts activity often gets lost in the difficult transition back into life on the outside.
To address this issue we have trained a group of professional artists as mentors, then matched them to prisoners who have won Koestler awards and are due for release.
If you'd like to receive news on forthcoming exhibitions, Art Sales and projects please sign up for our mailing list.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:
“The work that all of these organisations are involved in highlights that social issues can often be dealt with very effectively through making the most of community and individual resources. These grants will allow this work to be invested in and expanded.”
We are delighted that the rehabilitation work we carry out has been recognised, enabling us to develop and extend our much needed outreach programme.
Read the full press release
The Koestler Trust is now on Soundcloud. Feel free to share these great tracks and leave your feedback.
Prison art is a feature of Jeremy Deller's exhibition at the Venice Biennale. We're really proud to have worked with Jeremy and the British Council on this project extending arts participation to people in prisons around the UK.
Find out more about how HMPs Everthorpe, Parc and Shotts contributed to the Venice Biennale