The award celebrates organisations that are rethinking relationships with the communities they serve and using the transformational power of art for individual and societal change.

The Albany has been shortlisted from over 336 Award applicants, the highest number of entries to date. The shortlist was chosen by an independent panel for each organisations’ ability to address local needs and concerns, deepen relationships within communities, and use arts and creativity to enable positive change.

Our application centred on our work during We Are Lewisham, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022. We conducted extensive consultation with young people, residents, community groups, charities and activist organisations to inform projects surrounding the climate emergency, mental health, space for young people and displacement.

One such project was Climate Home, where we partnered with youth arts collective Sounds Like Chaos to design, build and programme a temporary venue at an underused local playground over the summer. The project provided £92,000 worth of paid employment for young people at the venue, which was home to events from a cross-generational fashion show, to spoken word and theatre performances and holiday clubs for younger children.

Gavin Barlow, Chief Executive and Artistic Director,  said: “We are extremely delighted to be shortlisted for such a prestigious prize and are thankful to be recognised for our work with communities from Lewisham and Deptford.

“Our vision at the Albany is to act as a home for radical co-creation, creating real change in our community by supporting local artists and organisations to work with residents on projects relevant to their lives and needs. We look forward to the next part of the process with the Gulbenkian Awards and can’t wait to see what comes.”

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will announce recipients on 23 March 2023. You can read a case study about the Albany on their website.