There is a list of all the reports on this site here. You can also see lists of the sessions not yet reported on here, and some pictures of the event here

This is what we talked about over the two days:
Wordle: Creation Space

Monday, 29 March 2010

07 Who will pay for it? How do we continue to work if/when funding disappears/decreases? Could a creative centre help?

Conveners: Kat Joyce /Jane McMorrow

Kat Joyce, Jules Tipton, Mark Mulqueen, Sanaz Amidi, Lucia Smith, Jane McMorrow

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Jane introduced her position - working on proposing a business plan for 3 Mills post-2012 which would enable the space to be used a creative centre. But there’s no cash. What are the possibilities?

Issues are: Everyone wants to use the space, but don’t have cash. Who would get paid to manage it? Where you you find investment?
Obvious answer is ACE – but are there other models?
Mixed economy?

It was raised that the curation of a space is intrinsically tied in to where the money comes from to fund it.

Idea from previous session (Julian’s) was re-discussed: 1 or 2 festivals use the space and pay for it in peak season, with other artists using it cheaply off –peak.

Issue: can Street Arts bring in revenue with no box-office?

Jane said that 2 sets of skills are necessary
- skills to manage a space
- skills to develop links with community, internationally, to find demand for work and build relationships.

There is a need and a want for this kind of centre in London.
It was raised that some kind of Artistic Director/curator is needed (as explored in a previous session)

Is there a model whereby street arts are linking to forthcoming large events eg Commonwealth Games/World Cup and funded off the back of these?

Mixed economy seems to be the way forward - but artists often don’t trust it, feeling that it will get in the way of allowing them to concentrate on making the work.

A knowledge gap was described – business sense to artistic ambition.
It can be a burden if artists have to run a building and it impacts on ability to make work.

Creating intellectual capital?

French model, funded by the Lottery: a show is created, and then toured to all of France with the rationale: here’s your winnings from the lottery (free to access art)
How do you maintain that? If the figure was large enough, would it allow endowments?

Benefit to the local community is clear but needs to be highlighted.
A discussion was had about the looming threat of arts cuts: with a proportion of the general public not seeing any value in Govt/lottery spending on the arts, how can we make a strong case for their continued funding and how?

Commercial sponsorship was discussed eg The Orange London Creative Centre.
Again, it was felt that work might be compromised in the interests of maintaining the ‘Brand’ integrity.

Similarly, with a philanthropic approach, there is a fear that only arts which please an individual philanthropist’s tastes would flourish, other more experimental/less glamourous forms would die off.

Mixed economy: Is it better not to have it and to refuse to compromise on artistic integrity, or can compromises be made?

Creation Centre has to be cool, sexy, glamourous, high-profile – using Princes Trust as an example, people will pay a fortune to be associated with this.

London financial centre is on the doorstep of proposed site for Creative centre – how can be encourage more skills exchange from financiers, business experts?

Creative centre needs to be at the centre of a Cultural Quarter – not a centre in isolation.

Creation Spaces are driven by regeneration agenda: developing areas for creative arts makes an area a better place to live – attracts other companies (and middle-class house buyers!)

Local Authority arts budgets are being sliced – ground level projects in difficult areas which really are making community differences are being cut.

A problem was identified that those in the arts see themselves as people who change society (arts change society) but society at large does not view arts the same way.

How about linking up with football organizations who are multi-million pound organizations – ie Tottenham hotspur give 1% of income to encouraging participation in sports and art (but do we want to fly team colours..?!)

Artists are vibrant, trendy and need to capitalize on how these qualities attract rich people!

Example of Rye Old School was discussed – LA handing over an old school to an arts group because it would cost less than securing an empty building. A mixed economy model was developed to run the space: artist rentals, ACE, commercial rentals.

Farnham Maltings model: sliding scale of rent for artists depending on their financial success.

There are plenty of available spaces in London, it’s just a case of working out how to finance using them:
2 models:
- grassroots, no budget, spontaneous, DIY
- all-encompassing, long-term, large scale funding.

You have to know your market v well – at Space there is 97% occupancy and v little subsidy, 600 tenants in 16 buildings, each project very carefully managed.

Talk to the banks – there are banks which will lend generously to arts orgs eg Triodos, an ethical, non profit bank only interested in ethical social enterprises.

Local authorities with cash reserves can’t give capital but can offer preferential rates of borrowing.

Venture capital would perhaps create endowments / interest free loans.

It is likely that worst case scenario is 20% cut to ACE funds in the next funding round.

It was brought up that this uncertainty with ACE means that it’s difficult to get money from banks (funds are only committed for 3 years)

We need to know more about the financial models that have worked in the charity sector, not just the arts.

Could ACE do some information-sharing?

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