Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) judges to have made outstanding achievements to social progress and development. In the official language of the Fellowship Charter, the award recognizes the contributions of exceptional individuals from across the world who have made significant contributions relating to the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce. Fellowship is only awarded to those who can demonstrate that they have made significant contributions to social change, and support the mission of the RSA. Fellows of the RSA are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRSA, and gain access to the RSA Library and to other premises in central London.
Past and current Fellows include leading activists, artists, writers, journalists and former politicians who have made significant contributions to their fields. Previous Fellows have included Stephen Hawking, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx and Benjamin Franklin. The Royal Society of the Arts is based close to The Strand, near the centre of London, England.
The Royal Society of the Arts was founded in 1754 by William Shipley as the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, it was granted a Royal Charter in 1847, and the right to use the term Royal in its name by King Edward VII in 1908. The shorter version, The Royal Society of Arts and the related RSA acronym, are used more frequently than the full name.
In addition to the Fellowship, the RSA awards three medals, the Albert Medal, the Benjamin Franklin Medal (following a decision by the Board in 2013, the Benjamin Franklin Medal is now overseen by the RSA US, although the final nomination is ratified by the UK Board) and the Bicentenary Medal. Medal winners include Sir Frank Whittle and Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking.
Since 1754, the RSA Fellowship has been a community of leaders in the fields of art, literature, journalism, and business who have made significant contributions to society or the arts, and are able to support the mission of the RSA.
New fellows are selected by the nomination of an existing fellow or by a request for fellowship, which must be supported by two current references. Those seeking to join the Fellowship must outline:
After the nomination of a candidate has been received, an admissions panel will make the final decision to accept or decline a new fellow.
Some of its Fellows, who come from diverse backgrounds and professions, include:
Previous Fellows have included: