IWM seeking applications for arts commissioning programme - Museums Association

IWM seeking applications for arts commissioning programme

14-18 Now Legacy Fund is building on first world war centenary activities
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Colourised footage artistic rendition 2018, They Shall Not Grow Old by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film
Colourised footage artistic rendition 2018, They Shall Not Grow Old by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film © IWM

Imperial War Museums (IWM) is inviting museums and other cultural organisations to apply for funding to create artworks inspired by conflict.

The £2m IWM 14-18 Now Legacy Fund is a commissioning programme that has been funded by a share of the royalties from Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old, a film that was co-commissioned by IWM and 14-18 Now to mark the end of the first world war centenary in 2018.

Five organisations will be appointed directly by IWM as co-commissioning partners, with an additional 15 selected from IWM’s War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network. There are more than 560 members of the network, which was formed two years ago.

“The IWM 14-18 Now Legacy Fund is such an exciting opportunity to explore our shared subject matter through commissioning new artistic responses,” said IWM partnerships manager Charlotte Pearce.

“Any members of IWM’s War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network can propose a commission, and it doesn’t matter if members haven’t done this kind of thing before. We’re here to support every step of the way, bringing members into dialogue with an artist – even if it’s for the first time.”

Expressions of interest can now be submitted via IWM’s website for the art commissioning fund, which will make awards of about £20,000 for each project. There will be a second opportunity to submit expressions of interest in 2022. Expressions of interest can come from individual organisations or partnerships between multiple organisations, including global partners.

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“It’s so important to think about the audiences that a new art commission could reach, and the ways in which it might connect to a local, regional, national or even international context,” said Pearce.

“Each commission will of course have its own unique angle and way of storytelling, but this is an exciting opportunity to build and nurture sustainable relationships with new partners and audiences from near and far, which is crucial in boosting the sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The 14-18 Now Legacy Fund builds on more than 100 years of commissioning by IWM, which has worked with artists to record the experiences of war for its collections since the first world war.

“The 14-18 Now programme for the first world war centenary was an incredible success – indeed, the financial legacy of Peter Jackson’s film has directly allowed us to offer this new programme of art commissions,” said Pearce.

“14-18 Now really demonstrated the power of art in connecting us with stories of conflict, and we hope that network members will be inspired by what 14-18 Now achieved when thinking about ideas for this new programme of commissions.”

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