Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

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  • Jobs and Volunteering

Jobs & volunteering

  • Koestler Arts and Ban the Box

    Statement from Sally Taylor, Chief Executive

    Koestler Arts is an inclusive organisation and actively promotes equality. We endorse the ethos of Ban the Box through our own system of positively encouraging applications from people with criminal convictions. We welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, particularly those who have lived experience of the criminal justice system, and offer guaranteed interviews for paid roles to those who have been in prison or on a community sentence in the last 2 years and who meet all the ‘essential’ person specification criteria.

Current opportunities

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I love to see people's poems, and connect with their intent and emotion. I also love to really work out what their purpose is and help them get closer to their target by giving really effective feedback - helpful comments are so encouraging for writers.

2019 feedback volunteer