Money talks pay off for artists, funders and freelancers


More than 40 mainly Dorset-based artists, funders and freelancers gathered at Lighthouse last month for Money, Money, Money – How Do We Fund Work and Make a Living? a one-day special conference to discuss arts financing.

Hosted by Lighthouse and Arts Development Company, two morning discussion panels were followed by workshop sessions in the afternoon as working artists, freelance creatives and venue staff met with funders from local authorities and grant-making bodies to consider the financial climate and what can be done to do things better.

“It was inspirational to see practitioners from across a range of art forms sharing ideas and information,” says Martha Earley, Lighthouse Creative Engagement Manager.

“The morning sessions were set up as a provocation to suggest talking points for the afternoon workshops and I think it paid off. If everyone left with one take away action to implement in their work, then we will be able to move the conversation on.”

David Lockwood, Arts Development Company Chief Executive adds: “It was wonderful to welcome the talent of Dorset’s creative community to Poole.

“Whilst times are tough for freelancers in the cultural sector, it was inspiring to hear stories of resilience from creatives and producers. I was also encouraged by the generous response from funders and organisations to alter their systems to make things work better for the workforce on which we rely.”

The discussion panels featured: Lorna Rees (Gobbledegook Theatre), Enoch Kwoffie (Evision Music Group), Archie Rowell (Off Piste), Sarah Shepard (Tilskit Theatre) and actor Michele O’Brien (I’m Glad I Asked); and visual artist Lisa Lewis, Katherine Senior (Tilted Wig), actor Linus Karp (The Untold and Untrue Story of Diana) and Jon Valender (Destination Opera).

The day rolled into the launch of Lighthouse Academy, the venue’s new flagship programme for creative engagement encompassing its training and development opportunities for young people and artists, with a short script-in-hand sharing performance from Dorset Scriptwriters.