We are thrilled to announce that Eden Court is one of four arts organisations UK wide to receive the Award for Civic Arts Organisations by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), in partnership with King’s College London.
Part of a slate of initiatives being supported by the Foundation in response to the pandemic, the award supports a growing movement of arts organisations reflecting on their relationship within their local communities and wider society. It is hoped that the award will shine a spotlight on the vital role that arts organisations play in sustaining a thriving, creative and connected society, particularly during times of crisis.
July 2020, Eden Court's Empire Theatre (IMAGE: Jane Barlow)
James Mackenzie-Blackman, Eden Court’s Chief Executive:
"At the beginning of the pandemic, when the very future of our organisation looked in doubt, an opportunity arose to form a unique relationship with the Highland Council. Within days of closing our doors Eden Court staff pivoted to new roles delivering the humanitarian and emergency response to the crisis. From turning our theatre into a Humanitarian Aid Centre, to the delivery of an emergency helpline using our box office system to supporting teaching and learning in Key Worker Hubs, colleagues from ushers to senior managers rallied. We are humbled and honoured by this recognition. The funds will go a long way to further embedding Eden Court into the civic life of our community."
IMAGE: Jane Barlow
Eden Court was shortlisted earlier this year from the 260 applicants. The Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK branch) highlighted the pivotal role the shortlisted candidates play in sustaining our communities; “each uniquely modelling what it means to have a civic role. Their approaches will inform and inspire the work of others at this challenging time.” The ten short-listed organisations were invited in February to present to the foundation in further detail. Today, we can announce that Eden Court is one of the winning organisations and will receive £25,000.
Convener of the Highland Council, Bill Lobban:
“The Highland Council is honoured that Eden Court has been awarded one of the inaugural UK Civic Arts Awards and this is highly deserved. Eden Court staff were invited to support the delivery of Highland Council’s resilience response, using their special skills in partnership with the Council. We are grateful for their support in these challenging times, to help minimise the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our communities. We value the impact of arts and culture on our communities in normal times and in the COVID-19 crisis, the resilience and inventiveness of the Eden Court workforce has shone brightly.”