University of Manchester: Greater Manchester charity In Place of War wins major award

A charity that supports individuals or communities affected by war, violence or oppression which began as a research project at The University of Manchester has won a major award.

In Place of War has been named as the recipient of the Award for Civic Arts Organisations 2022 by the UK branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in partnership with King’s College London, and will receive a £25,000 prize.

It was one of three winners chosen from over 200 high-quality applications from across the UK for their outstanding capacity to adapt to the pandemic, and for how they have deepened their commitment to their communities over the past two years.

In Place of War is a global organisation which started life in 2004 as a research project on the relationship between performance and war based at The University of Manchester. Now an independent charity, it enables change-makers to work in conflict zones across the world by using creativity – especially music – and cultural entrepreneurship as tools for change. The organisation aims to transform a culture of violence and suffering into hope, opportunity and freedom by providing a voice for marginalised communities.

During the pandemic they worked with 11 grassroots community organisations on 100 Agents of Change, which was their first major UK-based programme and was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Overseen by The University of Manchester’s Professor James Thompson, it involved refugees, asylum seekers, people living in poverty and LGBTQI+ communities, and resulted in 100 young people connecting with artists and activists from around the world to share their experiences, skills, and knowledge.

The organisation is now fundraising for a new and extended three-year model of the programme, and the prize money from this award will help to kickstart these efforts.

We have always been inspired by the energy and drive of the young people we work with, so to link those with limited opportunities in the UK with the inspirational change-maker network across sites of conflict via the 100 Agents of Change Programme, was a dream come true and led to remarkable impact. It’s amazing to have recognition from such a prestigious foundation for this work, which we will now grow to impact more young people.

Ruth Daniel, CEO & Artistic Director of In Place of War


“Through this Award, we aim to spotlight the transformational power of art for individual and societal change and provide a lever for organisations to scale their civic role work,” said Louisa Hooper, Interim Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch).

“We hope that reading about this year’s recipients – and how they have played a central role in their communities in the most innovative ways – provides inspiration for other organisations too. They provide fuel for hope and for a future in which the arts sector brings its visionary and healing magic to the business of reconnecting and shaping our world for the better.”

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