Project Recipient: Institute of Contemporary Arts
Project Amount: $293,850.09 CAD
What does art mean to you? For some, art is an escape. To others, it is the purest form of human self expression. And for some, art is simply an abstract concept – a forgettable school course. Whether you know it or not, art plays a role in your life every day. It is in our fashion, our advertisements, our architecture. Art is an integral part of our cultural identity and acts as a manifestation of the zeitgeist.
The London-based Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) was founded in 1964 by a collective of artists, writers, and other creatives. Dedicated to championing emerging artists across all art forms from script to sculpture, ICA expanded its educational offerings in 2016, when funds made available through a CAF Canada project were used to introduce a new program – Young ICA. The program is designed to engage with audiences 16-19 years of age by inviting them to connect with artists, attend workshops, take part in debates, and generally experience the creative process.
Crucial to the development of Young ICA have been the new partnerships with University of Arts London and Leeds Beckett University, as well as the cultivation of ICA’s previously established partnerships with Birkbeck – University of London, Kingston University London, Middlesex University, University of Middlesex, University of Kent. This collaboration enables the development of a strong relationship between university students and the ICA, which is further strengthened by the organization’s initiative to provide students with a platform to get their artistic careers of the ground.
New Contemporaries – a two-month long show put together by Young ICA – offers recent art school graduates the chance at an early institutional show where they are able to exhibit their creations. The emerging artists selected to participate in the show are decided by a panel of influential art figures including curators, writers, and former New Contemporary featured artists. Throughout this open exhibit, the ICA also conducts tours, workshops, and educational seminars to complete the experience for young artists—perhaps transforming them from passive viewers to active participants in the world of contemporary art.
By drawing in young people to experience art and engage in art-focused forums , the ICA nurtures the next generation of artists and gives them a holistic platform to grow and to hone their skills.
Art is many things, but for some fans of the ICA, it is their future.