Reading International forged links between artists, communities and venues to create contemporary artworks that spark debate on local and global issues. Reaching over 45,000 people in three years, it is helping to raise the quality of cultural organisation in Reading by applying novel curatorial methods that inspire.

Reading International brings local and international artists together with communities. It tests the possibilities of sparking debate and allowing people to explore contemporary issues through unique and site-specific artworks. The programme of exhibitions, film screenings, workshops and public artworks is born out of a collaborative three-year research project led by Professor of Fine Art, Susanne Clausen.

Curators and high-profile artists from around the world – including Turner Prize winner Helen Cammock, and Tel Aviv’s Public Movement – delivered over 70 events and installations. Art works showcased in diverse and unexpected spaces and included town-centre billboard posters exploring ‘community’, and a participatory performance on campus on counter-terrorism. Artists paired with local venues to develop site-specific responses to diverse topics from global challenges to local history. In 2019, Reading International hosted a Partner Summit at Tate Exchange, London.

The vibrant and varied programme reached over 45,000 people, including business and community partners, youth groups and school children, bringing benefits to the art and wider community; young artists developed, participants gained confidence to engage with art and artists, and local venues diversified.

In recognition of its distinctive blend of research and public engagement, Reading International won the award for Best Cultural Organisation of the Year in the Reading Cultural Awards.

In partnership with Rising Sun Arts Centre, Open Hand Open Space, Broad Street Mall, Reading Borough Council, and Museum, Greenham Common Tower Museum. Funded by
Arts Council England, Reading Borough Council, University of Reading, Artis, Cultural Bridges – European Union, Goethe Institute

Shortlisted for the University Research Engagement and Impact Awards 2020

First published: June 2020