Collection and Exhibitions

The Fifty:Fifty Programme


The Crafts Council seeks to develop and support the production of ambitious exhibitions that challenge perceptions and promote contemporary craft.

The Crafts Council is delighted to announce a new round of its collaborative exhibition scheme, The Fifty:Fifty Programme, following its successful inaugural partnership with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) to develop and co-produce Lost in Lace: New Approaches by UK and International Artists 2009-2011.

  • Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council. Photo: Janie Airey

    “Fifty:Fifty presents an excellent opportunity for an organisation to work with the Crafts Council on developing and presenting a high-quality contemporary exhibition focusing on craft. The first Fifty:Fifty partner was BMAG and the resultant exhibition – Lost in Lace – was a daring and thought-provoking exploration of contemporary textiles. It received double the number of visitors predicted and hopefully paved the way for more contemporary craft exhibitions at BMAG. We want the second Fifty:Fifty exhibition to continue this success. The Crafts Council are looking to select an organisation which will challenge and inspire us so that together we can produce an exceptional exhibition that reaches new audiences and engages them imaginatively with contemporary craft.”

    Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council

  • Andy Horn, Exhibitions Manager, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Photo: Carl Rose

    “The exhibition Lost in Lace was an absolute success – ambitious, risk-taking, critically acclaimed, hugely exceeding its visitor targets and widening the audience for contemporary textile practice. This could only have been possible through strong, creative and supportive partnerships, and Fifty:Fifty was the ideal partnership for achieving this. BMAG immensely valued the opportunity to collaborate with the Crafts Council through Fifty:Fifty, to shape, produce and present Lost in Lace. The partnership enabled us to work together as a team, sharing skills, experience and resources to go beyond our usual capacities to deliver something exceptional and which really engaged and excited audiences beyond their expectations”.

    Andy Horn, Exhibitions Manager, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

  • The collaborative process between the Crafts Council and BMAG has been explored in an Arts Professional article that can be read here.

    Programme Details
    The Crafts Council wishes to work with selected partners to co-curate and deliver a partnership exhibition, for delivery between April 2014 and March 2015. Funds, ideas and resources will be joined and shared equally on a 50:50 basis, with the equal contribution being £50,000 by each partner. If you are interested in working in this way, we would like you to complete and submit a pre-application form by 5pm on 8th June 2012.

    The Fifty:Fifty Programme is a triennial scheme. The schedule for the current round of applications is:

    Call for applications: March 2012
    Pre-application deadline: 8th June 2012
    Invitations to make full-application issued: 22nd June 2012
    Full-application deadline: 13th July 2012
    Interviews: mid – late July 2012
    Successful partner informed: August 2012
    Successful partner announced: September 2012
    Project commences: September 2012
    Exhibition opens between: April 2014 – March 2015

  • Who is eligible?

    The initiative is aimed at UK based galleries and venues. We are looking for a partner that can offer:

    • A project team
    • Match funding of £50,000
    • A venue/display location
    • The potential to tour the exhibition is applicable
    • Offer a learning and participation programme

    Different approaches to partnership will be informed by the selection of the partner and the resources they have in place.

Download documents

  • 50:50 Programme FAQ's

    Download (182KB Pdf File)
  • 50:50 Programme Information

    Download (169KB Pdf File)

For enquiries about this programme or to request the related documents via email, please contact Charlotte Dew, Exhibitions Project Officer, or 020 7806 2515

See also

  • Crafts Council touring exhibitions

    See the Crafts Council's current range of touring exhibitions

    View now