Established in 2003, Outset Contemporary Art Fund is the leading international, independent charity supporting innovative art projects that engage the widest possible audiences. With a presence in nine countries, the charity has raised over £13 million worldwide in support of the creative ecosystem. Outset is recognised for creating influential models of responsive arts philanthropy with its innovative public-private schemes and initiatives. Practising catalytic philanthropy means not only offering crucial funding support but also activating networks and initiating new relationships and partnerships. Transformative funding models that Outset has established include:
- the Outset Frieze Tate Fund, inviting international curators to join the Tate in selecting and acquiring 100 works of art over 10 years from Frieze for the Tate Collection;
- Studiomakers, providing new solutions to securing the physical spaces needed for creative production and cultural consumption. The initiative co-founded The Creative Land Trust with the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Bloomberg Philanthropies, now an independent charity purchasing property to be used as artist studios in perpetuity;
- the Outset Partners, a dynamic group of international patrons who work together to meet the evolving needs of the global cultural sector, awarding impactful grants through an iterative and consensus-driven decision-making process. The Outset Partners fund is the largest private grants programme awarded by a collective of individuals in the UK.
The charity was the first to introduce a pioneering paradigm of cross-institution collective patronage to fund challenging artistic projects in the UK, and is now proud to operate on a global scale. Outset is powered by inspiration, driven by expertise, renowned for its engagement, and focused on effective energy and ideas, with a commitment to being there at the outset of impactful change.