Risks, Rights and Reputations – challenging a risk averse culture

Risks, Rights & Reputations (RRR) is a half-day training programme developed by Index on Censorship, What Next? and Cause4 to provide arts and cultural leaders with the guidance, inspiration, tools and resources to navigate the rights and responsibilities of producing challenging or socially sensitive work. 

Challenging a Risk Averse Culture

“In recent years there have been an increasing number of high-profile cases raising ethical and censorship issues around plays, exhibitions and other artworks. Censorship – and self-censorship – can stand in the way of great art. That’s why Arts Council England is committed to supporting those organisations who are taking creative risks. It’s important that organisations are aware of relevant legislation and the excellent guidance that exists. This programme is an important step in ensuring that our sector can continue to create vital, challenging, and risk-taking work.” — Sir Nick Serota, Chair of Arts Council England

Navigating the rights and responsibilities of art that explores socially sensitive themes can appear daunting, risky and time-consuming. We have seen work cancelled or removed, because it was provocative or the funder controversial. But, for arts and culture to be relevant, dynamic and inclusive, we have to reinforce our capacity to respond to the most complex and provocative questions.

 “This important and necessary project is a great opportunity to learn and discuss with others the increasing challenges we face in the arts sector, particularly in the context of socially engaged practise and public spaces.” Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Joint CEO, Freedom Festival Arts Trust

Session Content

The session addresses the challenges and opportunities related to artistic risk and freedom of expression. It aims to encourage participants to voice concerns and experiences within a supportive environment and programme of presentations, discussion and group work. By the end of day participants will:

  • Understand the legal and rights framework supporting artistic freedom in the UK
  • Learn from analysis of recent controversies in the arts
  • Gain confidence in decision-making and planning for potentially controversial work.
  • Manage expectations relating to the role of the police
  • Discover the value of creating an ethical fundraising policy
  • Benefit from access to new tools, resources and ongoing support from peers and experts beyond the session.

Participants
The session is open to artistic directors, CEOs, Senior management and trustees of arts organisations.

To date, RRR sessions have been delivered in Manchester, London and Bristol, with Arts Council England national and regional offices and in partnership with the Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hull.

“I feel more confident to speak up when talking to leaders about policy, process and practice when it comes to issues around artistic risk-taking / freedom of expression and ethical fundraising. I feel more empowered to be a useful, knowledgeable sounding board for the organisation’s I support than I did previously.” – Participant, Arts Council England

UPCOMING TRAINING

We are currently accepting bookings from CEO/Artistic Directors, Chairs, individual Board Members and senior team members across the country for our upcoming RRR training sessions:

12:30 – 17:30             15 November 2018 at Young Vic Theatre, London

Host: Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Young Vic

“The work produced and directed on stages across the UK has made unprecedented strides in putting ideas, visual or otherwise, to audiences since the UK Theatre Act was overturned in 1968. That said, it’s our duty as theatre makers to keep the torch burning and ensure the legacy of those who campaigned continues. We can do that by never believing there isn’t a boundary that can’t be pushed, or a difficult question we can’t ask.”

12:30 – 17:30             21 November 2018 New Arts Exchange, Nottingham

Host: Skinder Hundal, CEO, New Art Exchange

“Engagement, innovation and excellence are at the heart of New Art Exchange’s work. We are open and experimental in our programme and seek to represent a wide range of diverse cultural voices and tell sometimes difficult and unheard stories. The work that Risk, Rights and Reputations does to support cultural organisations in handling difficult subject matter is much needed.”

The Team

“This was a really interesting, thought provoking, relevant and empowering session. I really appreciated the knowledge and the care taken to pull it together. Thank you!” – Participant – CEO

The RRR team consists of specialists and facilitators in freedom of expression, artistic risk and ethical fundraising alongside Artistic Director/CEO hosts who are committed to asking the difficult questions of our time:

Julia Farrington

Julia Farrington has specialised in artistic freedom, working at the intersection between arts, politics and social justice, since 2005. She was previously Head of Arts at Index on Censorship (2009 – 2014) and continues her work on censorship and self-censorship as Associate Arts Producer. From 2014 – 2016, Julia was head of campaigns for Belarus Free Theatre. She now works freelance and is a member of International Arts Rights Advisors (IARA), facilitator for Arts Rights Justice Academy and Impact Producer for Doc Society, promoting documentary film as a powerful advocacy tool.

Diane Morgan

Diane Morgan is the Director of nitroBEAT and a consultant/producer. She works in collaboration with artists, leaders and organisations to support (and merge) artistic risk taking and social engagement ideas, practices and approaches. Previous roles include; Project Manager for the Cultural Leadership Programme, Decibel lead for Arts Council West Midlands and Head of Projects at Contact Theatre, Manchester.

Helen Jenkins

Helen Jenkins is a consultant for Cause4, a social enterprise that supports charities, social enterprises and philanthropists to develop and raise vital funds across the arts, education and charity sectors. She has over 20 years experience of working across all fundraising disciplines in senior management and at Board level.  Helen has helped organisations nationally and internationally to achieve fundraising targets and retain their ethics within challenging financial climates.

Booking Information

Fees

£45 for individuals from organisations with an annual turnover of over £500K

£80 for two individuals fromorganisationswith an annual turnover of over £500K

£25 for individuals from organisations with an annual turnover of over £250-500K

£40 for two individuals from organisations with an annual turnover of over £250-500K

Bursaries

Diversity and equality are essential to both the dialogue and learning around artistic risk-taking and for a stronger cultural sector. The programme is actively seeking to be fully representative of, reflect, and to meet the needs of the arts and cultural community across; gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and class.

In order to respond to existing under-representation we are offering a limited number of bursaries to cover the training session fee for BAME and disabled CEO/Artistic Directors, Chairs, individual Board Members and Senior team members, and individuals from organisations with an annual turnover of under £250k who are currently living and working in England.

To apply for a bursary, please write to: julia@indexoncensorship.org with a short description of your organisation and why you would like to attend this session. Deadline: Friday 9 November.

Access

We aim to provide an inclusive environment and will work with individual participants to make sure we can meet your access needs, such as providing support workers or British Sign Language interpreters or preparing programme materials in alternative formats. Our experienced facilitators aim to be as flexible as possible in order to make the programme work for your particular needs. For access queries please write to julia@indexoncensorship.org