This summer, the City of London festival celebrated the arts all over the Square Mile for its 50th year and the Proms got into full swing, so it is timely to feature a charity that supports emerging artists. The Arts Foundation offers five £10,000 awards per year to artists working in different art forms; the next awards are to be given in still-life photography, costume and set design, opera composition and composition for musicals.
Ten thousand pounds might not sound like a large amount of money, but the artists the AF supports are at a stage in their careers when it could mean the difference between success and obscurity. Antony Gormley — creator of the Angel of the North — is a trustee, and explains the support the foundation offers: ‘Not only do we help people working in very under-exposed areas, but we can give financial aid to people in that crucial stage between just starting out and being completely recognised.’
To identify the hottest emerging talents, the foundation calls upon the knowledge of experienced paractitioners to make nominations in their fields. A good example is Nicholas Collon (below), who won an award in the conducting category in 2008. The money enabled him to give up his jobs teaching piano one day a week at a school and rehearsing an amateur choir. Since then, he has obtained professional management, more than doubled his conducting work and toured with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
Art is not just a frivolous pastime but rather an important and profound pursuit, and one we ought to support and encourage. If a concert of the City of London Festival or a Prom has brought these truths home to you, then the AF gives you the opportunity to support emerging practitioners of the arts you love.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
An award of £10,000 will provide an emerging artist with the time and resources they need to develop their career; the foundation is always on the lookout for board members and Trustees with experience and knowledge of the arts world.