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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  • 2019 UK Exhibition

Our 2019 Exhibition at Southbank Centre

Curator announced

Soweto Kinch. Photographer: Iza Korsak

We’re delighted to announce that Soweto Kinch will curate our 2019 exhibition at Southbank Centre!

The award-winning saxophonist and MC is an exciting name in the British jazz and hip hop scenes, as well as being a radio and television presenter. He has worked with Stormzy and Speech Debelle, and his themes range from slavery and emancipation to sacred geometry. We can’t wait to see what Soweto’s unique mix of musical experience will bring to the Southbank show, in the year where Koestler are shining the spotlight on music and performance.

Soweto will curate from fine art, design, music and writing entered into the 2019 Koestler Awards. Find out who’s eligible, and how to take part here.

The show runs from 19 September to 3 November 2019 at Southbank Centre, London. For updates, please join our mailing list.

See a walk-through of I’m Still Here, the 2018 UK exhibition curated by prisoners’ families, here.