In the face of increasing intolerance, it is the ‘long journey of generosity’ of organisations such as Outset that enable us to deliver ambitious and engaged programmes, deeply committed to the fundamental messages of the arts, which are experimentation, multiplicity, love and inclusiveness.

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, The Serpentine Galleries

Outset is more than a philanthropic organisation supporting cultural agents. In a landscape where contemporary art has been overlooked for decades it extends the very terms and possibilities for an art scene to grow.

Helena Papadopoulos, Founder of Radio Athènes

With an unerring eye for the great work of art that has yet to be born, Outset combines enlightened patronage with lightness of touch to help artist – and curators – realise their dreams. It is their support that makes London a cultural crucible.

Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery

Whilst the financial support Outset provide to the arts is much needed and gratefully received, their real gift is the ability to identify a problem and solve it. Whether it be helping institutions to build their collections or helping London to save its creative spaces, Outset do not just fund, they find creative solutions and contribute in a vital way to the cultural ecology.

Charlotte Appleyard, Director of Development, Royal Academy of Arts

The need for outstanding creative education is particularly acute in the industrial areas of the Midlands and the North of England, where Outset’s support during 2019/20 will enable us to work with young people from 15 schools, and achieve wider impact through teacher training and object loans. We look forward to discussing the project further with you as it progresses.  We are delighted to be partnering with Outset on this initiative, which simply could not take place without the exceptional commitment of the Partners.

Dr Tristram Hunt, Director, Victoria & Albert Museum

We are delighted to have this generous support from Outset. As an organisation dedicated to supporting public institutions with private means it has become a vital stimulus for creating and presenting contemporary art. Outset values art as a public good and positive contribution to society. Our museums are also committed to those goals and we will use the Transformational Grant to experiment with ways to repurpose the museum as a new social power plant to collectively generate ways of navigating the huge economic and political transition ahead.

Charles Esche, Director of Van Abbemuseum and Alistair Hudson, Director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery, recipients of the 2019 Outset Partners Transformative Grant

Thanks to our partnership with Outset, we have been able to identify and address a real and growing issue being experienced by young artists in London. With the creation of the Tiffany & Co. x Outset Studiomakers prize, by 2019, we will have funded 21 young artists with a workspace for a year to begin their careers; an accomplishment we are extremely proud of.

Barratt West, Vice President, Managing Director, Tiffany & Co., UK

It is such an honour to partner with Outset in launching the hub at Somerset House. We hope this space will become a place of artistic exchanges and multi-disciplinary collaborations – accelerating solutions for creative professionals and businesses alike.

Maria Bukhtoyarova, Founder, Gaia Art Foundation

Outset has brought new energy and imagination to contemporary art by supporting artists that explore new ideas and institutions that seek new paths… The Outset Frieze Tate Fund has brought many important works by emerging artists into the national collection, making it possible for Tate to share some of the exciting developments in contemporary art with a broad public

Sir Nicholas Serota, former Director, Tate


Who founded Outset?

Outset Contemporary Art Fund (Outset) was founded by Candida Gertler OBE and Yana Peel in 2003, and was Co-Directed by the two Trustees until Yana resigned in 2012. Outset UK’s inaugural initiative was the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund to benefit the Tate Collection (OFT). OFT was a partnership between Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Frieze Art Fair and Tate to buy works of art at the fair for the National Collection. The charity grew to support additional institutions; you can read more about Outset UK’s early projects in 2003 and 2004.

Who runs Outset UK today?

Outset UK is run day-to-day by a small core team of five people, working closely with our board of trustees.

How is Outset UK governed? 

The charity is governed by a board of seven trustees who all have an equal vote and responsibility in ensuring that the executive team and operation is being efficiently managed in line with our Articles of Association, and the Charity Commission guidelines. The most recent set of audited accounts can be found here. The Outset UK team will answer questions regarding the organisation’s structure and staffing on

Are Outset UK trustees also funders?
Each trustee makes a financial contribution to Outset’s operation and contributes to the Outset Partners Awards programme. No one trustee donates more funding than 3% of the overall turnover each year, as indicated in our annual accounts

Who funds Outset UK?

Outset UK fundraises from individual supporters located around the world. You can access our annual accounts here.  

Who does Outset UK fund?

Outset UK awards funding annually to international public art institutions. You can see all of our previously awarded funding here or sort by artist, curator or institution. Supporters of the Outset Partners Awards direct decisions through a consensus-driven process led by an independent research fellow.  

How is Outset UK connected to the international chapters?

There are currently six active Outset chapters around the world which are independently run, with their own structure, supporters, fundraising models and supported projects. Each chapter is governed independently and some have their own board of trustees. No chapter controls or influences the actions or decisions of another chapter.