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2022 Achates Philanthropy Prize sees first ever joint winners of individual category


The winners of this year’s Achates Philanthropy Prize have been announced, with a first ever joint win of the Individual Prize.

This year’s Individual Philanthropy Award was awarded jointly to Rafe Offer, nominated by Battersea Arts Centre, and Sam and Rosie Berwick, nominated by Spread the Word, while The Big House and 42 Management & Production won the Corporate Award.

Roundhouse received the Judges’ Special Commendation, while Futures Theatre, Music in Hospitals & Care, SAVVY Theatre & The Poetry Exchange will all receive Achates Philanthropy Prize Bursaries.

The annual Achates Philanthropy Prize celebrates first-time supporters of culture in the UK. The 2022 winners were announced this week at a ceremony at Birmingham Symphony Hall, presented by philanthropist and long-standing Symphony Hall donor, Peter How.

The Individual Philanthropy Award and Corporate Award share a prize fund of £10,000 while the bursaries offer cultural organisations a bespoke day-long masterclass to support the development of their fundraising or strategy.

Battersea Arts Centre supporter Rafe Offer first came to BAC over 13 years ago and was recently invited to join the judging panel for The Agency, BAC’s social enterprise programme that supports young people from underserved areas to create projects aimed at making a difference in their local community. He was so inspired by CUBE IT, a confidence and resilience programme devised by 18-year-old, Mikhi, that he decided to support it with a first-time donation to BAC as well as offering his time to mentor Mikhi in his professional development. The nomination showed how charities can inspire new potential supporters by offering first-hand experiences that demonstrate the impact of the work they do and the tangible ways in which donors can make a real difference.

Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director & CEO of Battersea Arts Centre, said:

“Thank you to the Achates Philanthropy Prize panel for this win celebrating Rafe’s generosity, I’m so proud to see BAC, The Agency and Mikhi recognised in this way. With everything that’s going on today, an award like the Achates Philanthropy Prize gives me hope that we will find a way to continue to do what we do best. It also demonstrates the power of bringing visionary funders like Rafe in close contact with inspiring creatives like Mikhi. Cultural organisations like BAC play a critical role in brokering these kinds of fantastic partnerships, so that brilliant creative ideas have an opportunity to grow and thrive.”

Spread the Word nominated Sam and Rosie Berwick for their philanthropic gift of £100,000 (+Gift Aid) towards the creation of an Early Career Bursary programme which will benefit three low-income London-based writers each year. The Berwicks co-designed the programme together with Spread the Word in recognition of the barriers faced by unpublished, socio-economically marginalised writers. The couple are committed to supporting it annually for at least five years, resulting in an intended total gift of £250,000 (+Gift Aid). The nomination recognised not only a substantial financial gift and a sustained level of support but also highlighted the importance of unlocking the potential of real partnership and co-creation between charities and donors who share their vision and values.

Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Sam and Rosie Berwick’s generous support of the Early Career Bursaries for low income writers has been recognised by the Prize through the Individual Award. More than this, this recognition acknowledges the partnership between Spread the Word and Sam and Rosie in co-creating a programme that responds to the challenges for low income writers, particularly those from marginalised communities, in progressing their creative work and careers. Their sustained gift and our shared purpose will help make a real difference to writers and the stories we get to read and hear.”

Rafe Offer and Sam and Rosie Berwick were selected from a shortlist of six outstanding first-time supporters for culture in the UK – the other nominees were: Cath Longman-Jones, nominated by Cardboard Citizens; new donors to the Manchester Contemporary Art Fund, nominated by Manchester Art Gallery; Will Hanway and Luise Luetcke, nominated by Museum of the Home; and Rosianna Halse Rojas, nominated by The Women’s Prize Trust.

Nick Reed, Chair of the Individual Philanthropy Award judging panel, said:

“With the quality of these applications it almost goes without saying that our judging panel had an incredibly hard job picking a winner. It was so hard in fact that we picked two. We distilled what it was that really spoke to us all and that was the purity of how a gift translated into directly supporting the art, unobstructed by organisational inertia, and how that gift was enhanced by the active involvement of the donor. These qualities were abundant in our joint winners.”

The 2020 Achates Philanthropy Prize took a different format due to the pandemic. Instead of awarding prizes, the campaign focused instead on a UK-wide showcase of case studies, showing how cultural organisations have worked with their communities and how their communities have responded during this year. More here.

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