Can you help keep Firstsite fantastic, fun and free?

The impact of shutting Firstsite has been huge for us and the communities we work with, which is why we are reaching out to you to help us.

Whatever you can give today can help us continue our work, collaborate with more communities and find creative solutions to the world we find in front of us.

Donate now

Our galleries, café, and shop are now open everyday 10am – 5pm, with cinema screenings into the evening. Find out what’s on.

There’s no need to book to visit, just turn up! Find out more about our new way of visiting.

Our new Feel Good Artist Activity Pack is available now – download your free copy here

Firstsite shortlisted for £100,000 national arts award

10th September 2020

We are delighted to announce that Firstsite has been shortlisted for the 2020 £100,000 Freelands Award.

The Freelands Award was established in 2016 by Freelands Foundation Founder, Elisabeth Murdoch, with the aim of raising the profile of mid-career female artists and supporting the work of cultural institutions across the UK.  It plays a pivotal role in enabling an art institution to realise a project which it could not bring to fruition without this funding opportunity, and it also enables a female artist to create an ambitious new work, fulfilling their creative aspirations.

The total value of the Award is £100,000, of which £25,000 is to be paid directly to the female artist chosen by the organisation.

Sally Shaw, Firstsite Director says,

At Firstsite we are committed to promoting equity and diversity so we are thrilled to again be shortlisted for this incredible award and recognised by Freelands Foundation as one of the leading art organisations in the UK.

Colchester has a radical history in relation to equality and Firstsite continues this legacy through its work celebrating women and female artists, from co-commissioning Gillian Wearing to create her Millicent Fawcett statue for Parliament Square, to our current Arts Council Collection exhibition, ‘Tell me the story of all these things’ which was co-curated by an incredible group of women from across Colchester and explores the power of emotion – a trait so often connected exclusively to women.

We would be delighted to receive the opportunity, through this award, to support another female artist to create an extraordinary artwork which can be enjoyed by all at Firstsite.”

The five other art organisations shortlisted are MK Gallery (Milton Keynes), Modern Art Oxford, Towner (Eastbourne), Turner Contemporary (Margate) and The Whitworth (Manchester).

The winning organisation and selected female artist will be announced in December 2020.

Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates from Firstsite.