The art awards scheme for offenders, secure patients and detainees

We’re the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 55 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.

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Koestler Exhibitions since 1962

The Koestler Trust has held an exhibition in London, of work from across the UK, annually since 1962. Exhibitions have been opened by a range of people, including Princess Anne, Terry Waite, Will Self, Stephen Fry, Jon Snow, Brian Eno and almost every Home Secretary/Secretary of State with responsibility for criminal justice.

Since 2009, the Trust has held exhibitions of Koestler Awards entries from across the UK in local venues including Wales Millennium Centre, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Glasgow Tramway, the Holden Gallery in Manchester and CUC Liverpool.

Koestler Awards Exhibition 1969