Martha Lane Fox founded Antigone in 2007. Antigone works with a small number of charities each year, learning more about the needs of socially excluded people so that we can help promote their successes to ministers and the press. We work in alliance with a number of other funders, organisations and people to make these changes happen and are keen to promote areas of philanthropy and activism that are currently unfashionable and underfunded.

Antigone is closed for any further grant applications for the remainder of 2013.

50 years of achievement and progress

2012 is the 50th Anniversary year for the Koestler Trust, one of the charities Antigone helps to support. Their innovative way of helping offenders rehabilitate through art is extraordinary, as are the levels of progress and achievement they have made during the 50 years of running. By channelling prisoner’s energies into artistic expression their confidence is built again and they are less likely to reoffend, a problem that affects the entire country.

I was lucky enough to attend the Koestler Trust 50th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner in late June and I even got to meet one of my heroes Grayson Perry. Everything from the guest list to the auction lots donated demonstrated the incredible impact that the Koestler Trust has had on people’s lives and views towards offenders.

For those of you art fanatics out there, there is an exhibition curated by the wonderful Sarah Lucas, one of the generation of Young British Artists, at the Southbank Centre in London between the 20thSeptember and 25th November 2012. Sarah will be the 50th anniversary curator and exhibition will contain 140 pieces of work on display. Sarah said “I've always felt art to be something that can be made in any circumstances, with anything. For me, earlier on, it was about making a path to somewhere else from the set of circumstances I found myself in. Life is hard sometimes, but then again, it can be flexible. In prison the imagination is the only available freedom. I thought I'd have a look at what people inside are doing with it.”

To find out more about the work of the Koestler Trust follow them on twitter and visit their website here.

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