Boundary-pushing organization uses the arts to inspire social change for refugees and immigrants
Counterpoints Arts is the leading UK-based organization using the arts to inspire social change for refugees and immigrants. It aims to create more understanding and deepen public support about migration and displacement, through art that is by and about refugees and migrants. Counterpoints is led by people with lived experience of migration.
Counterpoints is highly collaborative—and serves as a key national hub for alliances between the arts and advocacy organizations. Counterpoints partners with small, local institutions, as well as many major museums and galleries, such as the Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Counterpoint’s role is three-pronged: enabling, producing and learning. (1) Counterpoints supports emerging artists, including through network and infrastructure building, such as the Platforma Festival and Refugee Week.
(2) Through its own programmatic work, Counterpoints collaborates with arts venues. (3) Learning is a key part of how they do their work, primarily through learning retreats with artists and activists.
In recent years, Counterpoints has grown its work to encompass pop culture strategies to reach mass audiences. In 2018, Counterpoints held a popular culture and social change retreat, inviting Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Executive Director of the US-based Pop Culture Collaborative, to share learnings and successes from their grantmaking program.
Unbound Philanthropy has supported Counterpoints since its founding in 2012; its work advances our Public strategy area.
Counterpoints Arts quickly proved themselves to be an invaluable Tate Exchange Associate. Not only do they deliver a vital, compelling, creative, thought-provoking and memorable programme with us on an annual basis, but they are integral to the conceptual and strategic development of Tate Exchange and in progressing our community of practice amongst our Associates.
CARA COURAGE, HEAD OF TATE EXCHANGE
Counterpoints is breaking new ground in using the arts to advance social change for refugees and migrants in the UK.
Institutions Counterpoints Arts created programs with from 2016-2019
Photo 1: Refugee Week 2019. Courtesy of Counterpoints Arts.
Photo 2: LowKey concert at RefugeeWeek. Photograph by Marcia Chandra. Courtesy of Counterpoints Arts.