Alumni Working Session: Festivals & Money

27 May 21

The alumni community of The Festival Academy organises sessions with experts to share best practices and thought-provoking ideas that aim to inspire and promote discussion about festival-related topics.

This session is designed to be a fast and fun gallop through the often uncomfortable and slippery realm of money, finance and funding. As the world tentatively emerges from the COVID crisis, we as festival makers are struck even more by money's mercurial nature. Some arts organisations have been flooded with resources to lead recovery through the arts for their city, region or country, others cut off even further from the modest income streams they had pre-2020.  It goes without saying that there are huge socio-political machinations implicated in all of this, which we do have the power to one day change over the long term. The question is: what can we do for ourselves right now? This session hopes to exercise and expand on practical methods, ideas and mindsets that we as festival makers can adopt today to gain a better insight into money and its strange behaviour whilst also improving our festivals and ourselves.

Moderated by our Alumnus Glyn Roberts (Castlemaine State Festival - Australia), this session had as guest speakers:

  • Aubrey Bergauer (described as the "Steve Jobs of Classical Music", Designer of "The Long Haul Model" - United States of America)
  • Hans Abbing (Visual Artist and renowned Cultural Economist - Netherlands)
  • Menaka Rodriguez (Head-Resource Mobilisation and Outreach at India Foundation for the Arts - India)
  • Teesa Bahana (Director of 32º East Ugandan Arts Trust - Uganda)