Rapid Response Fund

The CAS Rapid Response Fund, in partnership with Frieze London, is a response to the Covid-19 pandemic to support both artists and museums across the UK. Museums which are members of the Contemporary Art Society were invited to apply to buy art and craft that supports their civic role when they reopen as coronavirus-based restrictions ease.

Launched in Spring 2020, the fund has raised £234,000 to date, supporting the acquisition of 106 works of art for 16 museums across the UK. £109,000 was raised through the generosity of CAS Patrons and a further £125,000 was raised through the CAS’s first crowdfunding campaign, which closed on 10 June 2020. People who donated £35 received a limited-edition facemask designed by top artists – David Shrigley, Eddie Peake, Linder and Yinka Shonibare. £120 bought a pack of all four.

The fund is designed to support as many different artists and local museums as possible, based on the understanding that our museums will play a vital role in our communities as we exit the crisis. The money raised purchases artworks by British-based artists, providing financial support to artists, technicians and art handlers, many of whom work on a freelance basis and have seen their income streams decimated over recent weeks, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CAS Rapid Response Fund also ensures that when museums reopen, they are able to reach out to their communities through new acquisitions, playing a vital role in civic healing and mental wellbeing.

The Contemporary Art Society’s partnership with Frieze London allowed the campaign to reach even more art lovers and collectors, both attendees to the art fairs and readers of the magazines.

Rapid Response Fund applications were reviewed by the 2020 CAS Acquisitions Advisory Committee, an external panel chaired by Caroline Douglas, Director of the CAS, consisting of leading curators, writers and artists.



Rapid Response Fund Founder Supporters

With thanks to:
Nicola Blake
Marco Compagnoni
Sarah Elson
Flora Fairbairn
Nicoletta Fiorucci
Emma Goltz
Sarah and Gerard Griffin
Soo and Jonathan Hitchin
Béatrice and James Lupton
Suling Mead
The Mbili Charitable Trust
Valeria Napoleone
Maureen Paley
Catherine Petitgas
The Search Foundation
Sfumato Foundation
Katrina and Stephen Reitman
Bianca and Stuart Roden
Dasha Shenkman
Paul Smith
Christoph and Pamela Stangar
Cathy Wills
Edwin and Dina Wulfsohn
Anna Yang

Frieze partnership logo


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