Founded in 2013, 21 Artists is a values-driven, arts-based project facilitating, hosting, documenting and evaluating arts-based organisations, projects and interventions on an international scale.

As a symbol of creation and new beginnings, the number 21 was chosen to represent the creative freedom and transformation integral to every project. Through our international exchanges, collaborations and exhibitions, 21 Artists has brought together artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines in alternative spaces to create work around a theme relevant to the spaces themselves and the people who live, work and play in the community where the projects take place. 

In addition to offering creative approaches to social impact evaluation and creative business development, we run place-based arts interventions in collaboration with local communities and organisations.

Our Approach

Building on a history of place-based arts interventions since 2013, 21 Artists is now expanding its focus to also including workshops, consultation and support around creative evaluation, specialising in social impact evaluation. This new, broadened focus means we not only create our own projects, but we work with events, conferences and organisations to further challenge what impact they are having through their work; why creativity and the arts is as essential part to a healthy society; and where artists can offer solutions or activate knowledge in innovative ways. This also includes consultation for artists, arts organisations and community organisation around entrepreneurial development most often demonstrated through workshops and consultation meetings to support each organisation in a bespoke way.

Our work focuses in three areas:

  1. International exchange, collaborations and exhibitions
  2. Creative evaluation with a social impact focus
  3. Consultation for artists and arts organisations

How it works

For our interventions, we work with local partner organisations to help implement, engage and add new, rich perspectives to each project, our four projects to date held collectively throughout London and Chicago. We have worked with a total of 85 artists to make 85 unique pieces of work and engaged over 5,000 visitors through our events, workshops, exhibitions and public space interventions. From music to dance, performance to poetry, painting, illustration and more, artists from each project were given a platform to connect and collaborate with one another, new audiences and communities and in an international context. We see these interventions as projects with the potential to bridge artists and communities in locations around the world, opening up dialogue about how we differ, and what connects us, using the arts as a conduit for social change. To find out more about these past projects, visit our interventions page.

For our work designing social impact evaluation frameworks, we work closely with organisations to design bespoke, creative evaluation that aligns with their mission and the impact they hope to achieve through their work. This spectrum of support spans from one-off workshops to managing the evaluation for large-scale projects and everywhere in between. To learn more about this work, visit our social impact page.