14-18 NOW is the UK’s official arts programme marking the centenary of the First World War. We commission artists from all artforms (including visual arts, film, theatre, literature, mass-participation events, music, fashion, digital projects, poetry, dance and opera) to make new work inspired by the period 1914-1918. All of our projects are co-commissioned in partnership with cultural and heritage organisations across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The first season of 14-18 NOW in 2014 focused on the centenary of the outbreak of war. The second season in 2016 focused on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the battle of Jutland. The third and final season in 2018 leads up to Armistice Day, marking the end of the war 100 years ago.
14-18 NOW works closely with Imperial War Museums and is part of its far-reaching Centenary Partnerships programme http://www.1914.org. Its offices are based at IWM London.
Engaging people through the arts is a powerful way to bring the past to life. With no serving survivors left to tell the stories from the First World War, the arts are an effective way to engage contemporary audiences, especially those who currently feel little connection to the First World War. This programme is indebted to the vital role that artists – poets, painters, film-makers and others – have played in shaping public perceptions of the First World War.
The Government instigated 14-18 NOW (under the working title First World War Centenary Cultural Programme). In line with established government policy on funding the arts, 14-18 NOW is established as an independent arts organisation with its decisions overseen by a Board. 14-18 NOW is an independent unit hosted within Imperial War Museums (IWM), based at IWM London so that both organisations benefit from their respective expertise. The Government is also one of the funders of 14-18 NOW.
14-18 NOW is a UK-wide curated programme across all the artforms with a specific set of aims. This programme is curated by the Director of 14-18 NOW, guided by a team of Artistic Advisors and overseen by the Board.
Yes, there are events taking place in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and internationally.
We aim to involve as many people as possible across the UK with the centenary of the First World War, with a particular focus on young people. So far more than 30 million people have experienced the programme.
14-18 NOW is funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. We also rely on additional funds that come from a range of sources including public funding, trusts and foundations, individuals and corporate supporters. The list of current supporters is here. Fundraising is overseen by the board, under the chairmanship of Vikki Heywood.
Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England. Project specific funding has also been granted from the Big Lottery Fund for Armistice.
The Board chaired by Vikki Heywood is responsible for monitoring the delivery by the Director Jenny Waldman and her team. Funding is subject to the usual monitoring and evaluating processes, imposed as a condition of their support by funders.
14-18 NOW’s main legacy will be the impact on individuals who experience our commissioned events. The commissioned arts projects will form a body of work which will have shed light on many different aspects of the First World War. Many of the works will have a life lasting long into the future. More broadly, the heritage and contemporary arts sectors will have developed new ways to collaborate, bringing the past to vibrant life for today’s audiences.