The Dewar Arts Awards were set up by the then Scottish Executive in 2002 as a fitting memorial to Scotland’s first First Minister, Donald Dewar.

We disburse the income from a trust fund to support talented young artists in Scotland, who do not have the financial means to pursue their ambitions.

We accept nominations for the awards all year round, in recognition of the fact that opportunities do not always fall neatly into the financial calendar,

The nominations are assessed by a board of Trustees, comprising some of the most respected names in the arts. Chaired by Jill Miller, our current Trustees are Lesley ThomsonNicola Catterall, Roberta Doyle, Roy McEwan-Brown, Jean Sangster, Robyn Stapleton, Jemma Neville, Eve Nicol, Alison Lefroy-Brooks, Jack Fawcett and Simon Sharkey. Find out more about each of them here.

Patrons of the awards include Sir Cameron MackintoshGiles HavergalTommy SmithCatherine Lockerbie and Callum Innes.

So far the Trust has provided over £6.2 million of funding to support more than 1200 talented young Scottish artists in achieving their ambitions.

The Dewar Arts Awards has received additional funding for the next three years from the William Grant Foundation. These funds will be used to further our work to support exceptionally talented young people who lack the financial means to achieve their full potential. The Dewar Arts Awards would like to thank the Foundation for its generous support. The new funds will be administered in the same way as our existing funds – the application process therefore remains unchanged.

For further information on the awards please email admin@dewarawards.org.

Lea Shaw Performing

Lea Shaw – Mezzo-soprano (Awardee 2020)



Nominations are assessed by some of the most respected names in the arts.


We have supported more than 300 talented young artists. Find out more about them here.