Cultural Leaders Programme

In 2023, Culture& and Sotheby’s Institute of Art launched a new fully funded scholarship programme, designed to empower and nurture the next generation of diverse leaders in the contemporary art world. The Cultural Leaders Programme, the first of its kind in the UK, brings together the considerable experience and cultural networks of the two organisations.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art has committed to a 100% fee waiver for three scholarships a year over a three-year period (nine students in total) to enable the scholars to pursue one of the Institute’s prestigious one-year, full-time Master’s programmes:

In addition, each scholar receives a London Living Wage Bursary to cover the cost of living in London so that those selected for the programme can fully focus on the educational experience and benefit from all this opportunity has to offer. These bursaries are funded through philanthropic donations.

Applying to the Cultural Leaders Programme

The first cohort of Scholars started on the programme in September 2023 and are currently completing their studies.

Applications for the 2025/26 cohort of Scholars will open in March 2025.

Further details about the MA courses can be found on the  Sotheby’s Institute of Art website.

Supporting the Cultural Leaders Programme

Until 4 March 2024, we are fundraising for the London Living Wage Bursaries through an exhibition and initiative entitled Together We Thrive, in which donors have the chance to win one of 26 beautiful original artworks.

Beyond this, we are looking for further bursary support for the 2024/25 cohort and beyond. We are seekinglike-minded individuals, foundations and companies who share our vision for creating change in the art world and believe in the necessity of this initiative to help enable the selected Scholars to make the most of the programme.

If you are interested in supporting the Cultural Leaders Programme and would like to receive our supporters’ brochure or have a further conversation, please contact Janine Catalano, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.


We are grateful to the following Founding Supporters who have generously contributed to the Cultural Leaders Programme: 

  • Law Family Charitable Foundation
  • Sotheby’s
  • Alain and Vanessa Defise
  • Bimpe Nkontchou

Image: Credit Kat Forsyth