Sky Arts Art 50

Post Brexit Britain. Who Are We?

Art 50 Round 2 is now closed. Thank you for your entries. 


HOWEVER the deadline for School Britannia has now been extended! See below for further details:


What will Britain look like, feel like, be like to live in, when we are no longer members of the European Union?  The outcome of the Brexit referendum has stimulated a widespread debate about our national identity, with many people looking to express how they feel about our nation as we approach a future outside the EU.




Do you have a budding Carol Ann Duffy or Dylan Thomas in your midst?

We would like to commission a number of schools to contribute poems from pupils along with artwork or additional exciting pieces, showing us a child’s eye view about what life is like in their town, city or village up and down the country.

The five best poems will be filmed being recited and these shorts, accompanied by visuals alongside them, will be transmitted in March 2019 on Sky Arts. 

The 50 best poems will form the basis of a collection entitled ‘School Britannia’’ which will provide a historic legacy of the project. 


We need to know WHY you should be included. Are you the smallest school in the UK? Are you the biggest? Are you the most isolated? Are you a special school for other reasons? Is where you live the ultimate British village? The first or last ‘new town’ created? Is it a place a particular group flocked to in – be it in 1500 or 2017? Does it have memorable things for children to do - or nothing at all but fields? Tell us anything that makes your school and where you live stand out from all the others – providing a unique voice in this national debate about what it means to be British.   

If your school is picked, we will arrange for a poetry ambassador – an established poet - to visit your school. We will also provide the school with a small donation for the time, resources and effort you put into the project. 

Our choices will be based on exciting pitches that enable us to show differing aspects of Britishness across the rural, town and suburban landscapes of the UK and beyond. 

What is Art 50?

Sky Arts launched Art 50 to invite artists of all kinds, from all walks of life, from all artistic genres, to create a piece of work which says something important about what it will mean to be British after we leave the European Union. 

We are working with our partner organisations; the Barbican, Sage Gateshead and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.  They will be hosting a festival featuring a selection of the Art 50 commissions as well as being on the judging panel.  Separately, Sky Arts is commissioning them to produce some new work.

Over two commissioning rounds, you, or your school, college or arts institution, will have the opportunity to apply for funding or co-funding to make a piece of theatre/ dance/ music/ film/ art/ collage (the list goes on) that responds to the question….

What will it mean to be British?  

What are the criteria?

At the beginning of February 2017, key figures in the arts world across disciplines and across the country were invited to a consultation to help decide the criteria for commissioning: 

We are looking for ideas of all sizes that speak on the subject of Britishness and which:

  • Engage rather than lecture
  • Relate to suburbs and rural communities as well as towns and cities
  • Allow us to hear and understand many points of view 
  • Help us to understand how we’ve got here
  • Taken together, represent a diversity of opinion
  • Include new voices as well as established artists
  • Make a splash, or leave a lasting legacy – or both!

How much funding is there?

Sky Arts has allocated £1m to Art 50. This covers the cost of making the TV documentaries we will make and all the arts projects it will fund.  We welcome applications for up to £50,000 – the majority of awards will be made between £5,000 to £20,000.  

What will happen next?

Round 2 of Art 50 is now closed. We will advise applicants on status of their applications in Spring 2018.


School Britannia ONLY has been extended to midday on 12th February 2018!

Thank you for visiting our website.

Apply here for School Britannia by 12th February

Submitted projects

We commissioned 15 projects from Round 1 of Art 50.

From poems to plays, from music to marketing and from roadside photography to robots - all British life is here!

View projects