Subsidy, Patronage & Sponsorship: Theatre and Performance Culture in Uncertain Times (2012)

Subsidy, Patronage & Sponsorship:  Theatre and Performance Culture in Uncertain Times
Thursday 19th, Friday 20th, and Saturday 21st July, 2012

Subsidy, Patronage & Sponsorship Symposium Report available here.

In collaboration with the University of Reading and the Arts and Humanities Research Council

This three day conference assesses arts policy around the world; concentrating on the situation in theatre and performance culture. The conference is related to the AHRC project, ‘Giving Voice to the Nation’: the Arts Council of Great Britain and the development of theatre and Performance in Britain 1945-1995, a five-year investigation into the relationship between subsidy, policy and practice in the archives of the Arts Council of Great Britain.


Thursday 19 July

9.30 Registration

10.00 Welcome and Introduction

10.05 Keynote: Binary/Schbinary: remapping borders in the arts

  • David Edgar (Playwright, British Theatre Consortium)

11.00 Coffee

11.20 The Centre Cannot Hold: Changing the Culture of the Arts Council

  • Peter Stark OBE (Adviser on cultural regeneration projects in UK and South Africa; Former Director of Northern Arts)
  • Christopher Gordon (Independent arts consultant and former Chief Executive of the English Regional Arts Boards consortium)
  • Sue Timothy (Former ACGB Small Scale Touring Officer 1971-75)

12.50 Arts Council England in the 21st Century

  • Barbara Matthews (Director, Theatre of Arts Council England)

13.15 Lunch

14.00 Parallel Sessions

Session 1:  Public Patronage: Four Case Studies 

  • Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre: An analysis of the relationship between artistic innovation and business entrepreneurship and subsidy in the 1970 – 1995
    Anne Bonnar (Advisor and consultant, Bonnar Keenlyside)
  • Patronage and Pragmatism: The Art of Compromise in the English Regional Context
    Claire Cochrane (University of Worcester)
  • Shocking the System: Cherub as Cultural Ambassador and National Pariah
    Brian Cook (University of Oregon)
  • No Experimental Wildfowl: State Subsidy for New Writing in the Age of Austerity
    Taryn Storey (University of Reading)

Session 2:  Models of Inclusion?

  • On Leaving Paradise
    Friederike Felbeck (International Theatre Institute/Balzan Foundation)
  • Planting theatre in the cracks: sourcing support for political performance in the Big/Bad Society
    Rebecca Hillman (University of Reading)
  • The rise of the Pro-Am theatre initiative: developing innovative opportunities in a challenging economic environment
    Rachel Perry & Elizabeth Carnegie (University of Sheffield)

16.00 Refreshments

16.20 Panel: Global Contexts

  • Infarct approaching? German theatre funding at the crossroads
    Michael Raab (Dramaturg Staatstheater Stutgart, Staatstheater Mainz, Munich Kammerspiele, Schauspiel Leipzig)
  • Subscription Theatre in Canada – Financing New Writing at the Tarragon Theatre
    Maria Milisavljevic (University of Passau)
  • Quantitative criteria: the calculated model of the Israeli national subsidy of repertoire theatre institutions and its results
    Diti Ronen (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)

17.20 Close

Friday, 20 July

9.30 Registration

10.00 Keynote: Funding the South Bank Centre

  • Jude Kelly OBE (Artistic Director, Southbank Centre)

11.00 Coffee

11.20 Panel Discussion: From Spectatorship to Engagement

British Theatre Consortium

  • David Lan (Artistic Director, Young Vic)
  • Lynn Froggett (Professor and Director of Psychosocial Research, University of Central Lancashire)
  • David O’Brien (Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries, City University, London)
  • Dan Rebellato (playwright and Professor of Contemporary Theatre, Royal Holloway)

12.50 Lunch

13.50 Parallel Sessions

Session 1:  Sponsorship and Its Discontents

  • Product Placement in Punchdrunk’s The Black Diamond: ACE, Stella and the Privatisation of Theatre Funding
    Adam Alston (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • A not so happy marriage: Art and sponsorship in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s playwriting
    Sophie Bush (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Imagining Private Sponsors
    Christopher Innes (University of York, Toronto)

Session 2:  Fit for Purpose? Applied Theatre and Funding

  • Playgrounds, Workshops, Board-Rooms: the path from establishment patronage via alternative patronage to Control by Transparency
    Tony Coult (University of Reading)
  • Creating value: applied theatre companies and their funding relationships
    Molly Mullen (University of Auckland)
  • Why should a mental health charity fund applied theatre?
    David Blazey (Social Inclusion and Recovery Project Manager, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust)

15.20 Break

15.30 Parallel Sessions

Session 3:  Making Ends Meet?

  • Navigating the Development Director’s Role in Volatile Economic Times: Contemporary Issues in the USA with the four-prong approach to Fund Raising (Individuals, Corporations, Foundations, and Government)
    Linda Donahue & Lori Uebelhart (Texas Tech University)
  • What did the Victorians Ever Do for Us?
    Kath Russell (University of Manchester)
  • A bout de souffle? How is the Public Sector of Performing Arts Addressing the Financial Crisis in France?
    Emmanuel Wallon (l’Université Paris Ouest Nanterre/La Défense)

Session 4:  Acceptable in the Eighties?

  • Only trying: 1980s sponsorship development as a desperate measure
    Ian Brown (University of Kingston)
  • Theatre, poverty and the age of money: economies of shit and gold in the Royal Shakespeare Company/Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables (1985) and Jim Cartwright’s Road (1986)
    Jenny Hughes (University of Manchester)
  • Too big to fail – Scottish Opera under Thatcher
    Huw Jones (University of Glamorgan)

17.00 Coffee

17.30 Keynote: A Poodle in Chains
Gregory Motton (Playwright)

18.30 Break

19.30 Keynote: Show Business? What can we do about the business side of theatre?
Ed Berman MBE (CEO & Founder of the Inter-Action Group of Charities/Artistic Director Fun Art Bus)

20.30 Close

Saturday, 21 July

9.30 Registration

10.00 Keynote: ‘People Like Us’: Taking Part Apart
Robert Hewison (Professor in Leadership and Cultural Studies, City University)

11.00 Coffee

11.20 Panel: Uncertain Times in the 70s: Alternative Theatre and the Funding Bodies

Discussant: Ed Berman MBE (CEO & Founder of the Inter-Action Group of Charities/Artistic Director Fun Art Bus)

  • Funding and the pursuit of cultural democracy
    Maitreyi Maheshwari (Curator: Public Programme, Zabludowicz Collection)
  • Hidden Subsidy and the alternative theatre movement: oral history as evidence in Unfinished Histories
    Susan Croft (Co-Director Unfinished Histories, Clive Barker Research Fellow, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance)
  • Almost free and almost balanced; running a cultural business in 1978
    David Powell (Former Director of Inter-Action)

12.50 Lunch

14.00 Parallel Sessions

Session 1:  ‘New’ Forms of Arts Funding

  • Tax and Spend: The Changing Fiscal Logic of State Funding for the Arts in the United Kingdom
    Michael McKinnie (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Private Giving to the Arts
    Jen Harvie, (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Crowd-funding
    Louise Owen (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Session 2:  Paradise Postponed

  • From Patronage to Subsidy: Conclusions from the Case of Michel Saint-Denis
    Tom Cornford (University of Warwick, freelance theatre director and teacher)
  • ‘Every Part of Merry England be Merry in its Own Way’: the Arts Council’s Regional ‘Gatherings’ 1969-1970
    Graham Saunders (University of Reading)
  • Research at the Arts Council since the Arts Debate: Achieving Great Art for Everyone?
    James Doeser (Arts Council England)

15.30 Coffee

15.50 Plenary: Panel including David Edgar and David Eldridge.

17.20 Close