PRESS RELEASE: UNESCO partners with Artists at Risk (AR) to support female artists fleeing Ukraine


24 June 2022

For Immediate Release

UNESCO partners with Artists at Risk (AR) to support female artists fleeing Ukraine

UNESCO has announced a scheme in partnership with Artists at Risk (AR) to support female artists fleeing the war from Ukraine. Artists will be hosted by cultural and hosting institutions across Europe, and will be provided extensive financial assistance, networking opportunities, and chances to grow and expand in their field. Support will be provided for a minimum of three months.

In a statement, the Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay said:

“The war has driven millions of Ukrainians into exile, the vast majority of whom are women and children. Among these people, women artists who have been forced to suspend their creative activities often lack material and financial resources to resume their work in their host country.”

The Co-Founding Directors of Artists at Risk (AR) Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen added:

“UNESCO has taken a historic step to initiate a programme dedicated to artists at high risk. We began this conversation with UNESCO during our efforts to help Afghan artists in dire need, and now the war on Ukraine has brought the topic to the forefront of the attention of UNESCO’s donors. We hope this solidarity will give rise to the expansion of the programme to other countries and conflicts.”

This partnership with Artists at Risk (AR) will be financed by $140,000 from UNESCO, with an initial goal of supporting 30 mainly women artists and their families, helping them to become independent by the end of the support period, regardless of whether they decide to stay in the relocation country or return to Ukraine.

This support from UNESCO will allow Artists at Risk (AR) to provide for more artists leaving Ukraine, allowing them to find refuge and to ensure the safety of their families and children. The support programme is in conjunction with Artists at Risk’s ongoing relief and relocation efforts to match artists and cultural workers fleeing Ukraine with hosting and cultural institutions in and around Europe.

The UNESCO programme supporting the Ukrainian women artists in exile was supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund and the UNESCO-Aschberg Programme for Artists and Cultural Professionals.

For press enquiries, please contact the Artists at Risk (AR) Press Desk: [email protected]