NPO Announcement 2023/26: Prism Arts’ Statement

Arts Council England NPO Decision for Prism Arts 


We’re delighted to continue to be included in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. The whole team has worked extremely hard over the last few years, and we’re thrilled that the Arts Council has recognised our vital work and the need for us to continue to create spaces that empower people with learning disabilities and/or autism to make excellent art and drive their own creative journey as artists, leaders, and advocates for change.

Prism Arts was founded in 1987 by a group of artists developing opportunities for excluded people. We are now a leading inclusive-arts charity based in Carlisle that provides creative opportunities for young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism, or additional needs every year. In the last year, we helped over 2,500 individuals define their own goals and ambitions through a series of creative projects across a range of art forms, leading to a growth in independence, confidence, and improved well-being.

We are extremely grateful to have received our core NPO investment of £51,544 annually, which will enable us to continue to deliver our weekly creative visual and performing arts programmes, as well as our one-off projects in different communities across Cumbria. We also want to say a huge congratulations to all other NPO’s in Cumbria who deliver vital work for our communities, and of course, our thoughts are with those who didn’t receive the results they were hoping for.

“It has been an extremely difficult few years for our communities, for Prism and for the sector. We will continue to work our socks off to collaborate with, and champion the work of learning-disabled artists, communities and creatives in our area and beyond.”

Catherine Coulthard, Creative Strategic Director

“Sustaining our NPO is a fantastic result and I commend the team for their hard work in achieving this.  I am delighted to be leading the board over this exciting time as we continue to develop Prism Arts as a truly inclusive organisation at every level”

Ian Chapman, Chair of the Board

As an independent charity, we remain reliant on generous donations to help us deliver these vital programmes, and whilst we are grateful to Arts Council for their ongoing funding, we continue to welcome support from individuals, corporates, and Trusts so that we can grow our programmes and our impact.

If you would like to know more about the work we deliver, or how you can support Prism Arts you can exploe our website or get in touch with us at

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