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Take the money and run? – an event about ethics, funding and art

Thursday 29 January, 2015
Toynbee Studios, London 

Event 10am – 5pm
Drinks 5pm – 6pm

£12.50, including tea/coffee, lunch and a complimentary copy of the publication Take The Money And Run? Some positions on ethics, business sponsorship and making art by Jane Trowell, Platform

* 15 free places are available by application to those on low/no income.


For some thirty years now, many of us in the arts have prided ourselves in our skills as conmen.  We can find the money, wherever it may be.  And we can take it. And run… 

…Have we really spent all this time speaking in any-language-that-will-get-us-the -money without it corroding our own language, our own sense of who we are and what we do and our relationship with our audiences?

– Mark Ravenhill, Writer. (full text available in the Take The Money And Run? audience freesheet

As artists and arts organisations are increasingly asked to seek support for their work from corporate sponsorship and individual philanthropy, questions about cultural values, the ethics of fundraising, and who we are prepared to take money from are becoming more and more urgent. In recent months there has been a groundswell of debate and growing dissent about the conflicts and contradictions between commerce and culture.

Take the money and run? is a day of presentations, provocations and discussions by artists, activists, academics, producers and journalists looking at the challenges of fundraising ethically and a range of strategies we might consider for the future. The event features live, remote, recorded and written contributions from Clara Paillard, Dave Beech, Rachel Spence, Mel Evans, Eriel Deranger, Kelli McCluskey, Mark Ravenhill, Jess Worth, Jen Harvie, Judith Knight, David Cross, Glen Tarman, and Ackroyd & Harvey.

Building on initiatives by Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin and Home Live Art as part of their Catalyst-supported research into ethical fundraising and individual giving, this is an event for artists, producers, venues, funders, scholars, writers and anyone concerned about ethics, funding and art. 

Take the money and run? is produced by Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin and Home Live Art, in collaboration with Platform. 


10:30 – 12:30pm 

Introduction and Setting the Scene 
With Catalyst consortium members Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin and Home Live Art,  Jane Trowell (Platform) and guest speakers, artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey. 

What Are Our Current Challenges?

Provocations by:
Rachel Spence, arts writer for Financial Times 
Dave Beech, artist, Freee Collective
Kelli McCluskey, artist, pvi collective, Australia (on Skype)
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, activist, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Canada (on film)
Mel Evans, artist-activist, author (on film)


12:30 – 1:30pm 

1:30 – 5pm 

The Arts Are Not Value Free 
Presentation by Jen Harvie, writer, Queen Mary University of London, and group workshop led by Jane Trowell.

An Ethical Fundraising Approach At The Heart Of The Arts 
A presentation by the Live Art Development Agency on the research undertaken by the Catalyst Consortium. 


What Can We Collectively Do? 

Provocations by:
Jess Worth, BP or not BP?
David Cross, artist and Reader, University of the Arts London
Glen Tarman, Liberate Tate
Judith Knight, Artsadmin and What’s Next 
Clara Paillard, President, PCS Culture Sector



Networking drinks 
Toynbee Arts Bar and Cafe 


Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin and Home Live Art are offering 15 free places at Take the money and run? to independent artists, activists, producers, researchers and others on low/no income.

To apply for a bursary please send an email of no more than 250 words to Philippa Barr [email protected] by 12 January stating why you would like to attend, how you think you can contribute, and what you hope to take away from the event in relation to your own practice and approach. 

Banner image credit:

Liberate Tate, Sunflower (detail), 2010, Photo: Jeffrey Blackler

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