The UK’s biggest coordinated fundraising campaign launches on 30th November and the Yinka Shonibare Foundation will be raising money for a new Fellowship Residency in Nigeria for a UK based African Diaspora artist and curator. The campaign kick starts our Fellowship Programme designed to support the careers of emerging artists and curators of African descent who are often underrepresented in the art world. The successful applicants will become some of the first creatives to stay at Guest Artists Space, the pair of exciting and highly anticipated new purpose-built residency buildings located in Lagos and on a lush 54-acre farm in Ijebu, Nigeria.
The Big Give Christmas Challenge will run from 30th November until 7th December. It offers supporters the chance to have their donation doubled with match funding provided by Big Give’s network of philanthropists, trusts and foundations and businesses.
We're hoping to raise £12,500 to cover the cost of two 6-week fully catered residencies that will come complete with flights, local travel and materials. Tailored mentoring and professional development opportunities will also be delivered by some of the art world's most esteemed professionals. The residency will support both the creative and social needs of the selected artist and curator the ambition being that the experience brings about future projects and collaborations for them, both in the UK and Nigeria. It will also be a unique chance for the artist and curator to spend time developing their career in one of Africa’s most exciting and fastest-growing creative hubs.
For us the initiative forms part of a wider central ambition to break down barriers of access that exist as a result of limited infrastructure or education. This in turn fuels our goal and vision of facilitating global cultural exchange and using art as a positive force for social change.
The art world needs to evolve - there is a rich vein of talent out there, but we might lose them if the status quo of the last thirty years remains. We are working with the local community, whilst opening doors for the next generation, equipping them to thrive not just survive.
— Yinka Shonibare CBE RA