National Partners

Arts Council launches second Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme

Main Image: Installation view, Leo Fitzmaurice: Between You and Me and Everything Else, a National Partners exhibition at Walker Art Gallery, September 2018

The Arts Council is seeking three new regional partners to form a network of galleries and museums to present and curate exhibitions over a three-year period drawn from the Arts Council Collection

Following the success of the first Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme, the Arts Council England will invest £1.65m of National Lottery money into the programme, which it says will increase the number and diversity of people able to experience the Arts Council Collection, ‘especially children and young people, and to support organisational development in regional art galleries’.

The three new partners will work with the Collection team at the Southbank Centre and Longside Gallery, based at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to produce high quality, innovative exhibitions.

Launched in 2016 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Arts Council Collection, The National Partners Programme is the most widely circulated national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world. It contains more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists such as Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Richard Hamilton. The work is loaned out to a wide range of exhibitions across England and during the last year alone over two million visitors experienced work from within the Collection.

“The National Partners Programme over the three years has produced outstanding exhibitions and outreach programmes which has increased and diversified the audience in each partner gallery,” said Jill Constantine, Head of Arts Council Collection.The programme has also enabled all galleries to work collaboratively, exchange and share ideas and provide mutual support in a sector which is under increasing pressure.”

The first National Partners Programme gave galleries in Liverpool, Birmingham and Eastbourne the opportunity to host the acclaimed Arts Council Collection. Towner Art Gallery, Birmingham Museums Trust and The Walker Art Gallery hosted 24 exhibitions over three years, alongside the Collection’s longstanding partner, Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The partners all experienced increased audience figures, improved brand recognition on a national level and more diversity in their audiences over the course of the programme.

For further details on how to apply please visit the Arts Council England webpage here.