Our origins 

It was the discovery of colouring pencils scattered across the soil where a community once lived in Calais that changed everything for our founder, Simon Butler. 

In 2016, Simon had travelled to the Calais Jungle with a mission to support its local people who had been forcibly displaced. There, he found the pencils on a site where a school had once stood, and he had an idea. On his return to the UK, he sent these pencils to renowned artists across his network giving them one proposal: Use this to create original artworks to be auctioned for charitable purposes. 

They did so, and they raised £121,000 as a result. 

Here, Migrate Art was born.

Our purpose

We believe that art possesses the capability to transform the world: It both connects people and brings about new opportunities. It is our mission to harness this power for marginalised and displaced individuals and communities across the globe, and to catalyse meaningful societal transformations for them.

By leveraging our extensive experience in the contemporary art world, we are pioneers in using art as a platform for change. We start by connecting with the communities and individuals who need help. This has included visiting refugee camps in France and Northern Iraq, travelling to meet the Indigenous Xingu people in the Amazon, and volunteering with UK-based charities who fed homeless people throughout the coronavirus pandemic. From these experiences, we develop highly innovative fundraising projects with artists. With their support, we have raised more than £1.6 million to assist displaced, Indigenous and homeless communities across the world.

We are not interested in empty gestures - these funds are sent to grassroots charities with whom we have visited, volunteered with and cultivated deep connections with. We understand their work so that our work can help them in the most impactful way. 

Our impact

Since Migrate Art’s formation in 2016, we have raised more than £1.6 million to support those in need. We carefully select our charity partners via a process involving in-depth discussions to broaden our knowledge of the work they do on the ground, as well as regularly volunteering with them, visiting their sites and participating at their events. As a result, we have a deep understanding of how the money we fundraise will make an impact on the lives of those in forcibly displaced communities. 

Among our donations, our Ukraine collaboration with Idris Khan raised £200,000, the profits of which was sent to The Disasters Emergency Committee. They provided people impacted by the Ukraine War with basic necessities including food, hygiene products and blankets. 

In addition, we sent more than £200,000 to RefuAid, Refugee Community Kitchen and The Lotus Flower as a result of funds raised through our Scorched Earth project. These charities help and equip refugees and asylum seekers with essential skills, mental health support, and food.  

You can learn more about how our projects have impacted others here.



If you are a charitable organisation and would like to apply to Migrate Art for funding or grants, please email info@migrateart.com with 'Funding/ Grants' as the email title.

Migrate is bringing light to the ongoing struggles faced by the most vulnerable in our world in the most thought-provoking and impactful way. We know it will widen awareness and funds raised are vital in helping us to increase our impact.

Anna Jones, RefuAid