• How do we protect the right to explore controversial subject matter and take artistic risks?
  • Would you know what to do if your organisation was enveloped in a controversy?
  • What can arts organisations do to promote equality and freedom of expression?

From the Birmingham Rep to the Royal Court, the BBC to the Tate, Barbican to National Youth Theatre, many arts and cultural organisations have come under the spotlight for programming/presenting controversial work or deciding to collaborate with certain corporate sponsors.

Navigating the rights and responsibilities of art that explores socially sensitive issues can appear daunting, risky and time-consuming. The prospect of controversy, protest, police intervention and possible closure or cancellation can be powerful disincentives.

Index on Censorship in partnership with What Next? and Cause4 has developed a new training opportunity focusing on risk-taking, controversy and the relevant laws, rights, roles and responsibilities involved in supporting diverse, provocative work. Risks, Rights and Reputations is a half day course aimed at ensuring arts and cultural organisations across the country have the tools and confidence to handle difficult subjects and sensitive stories to deliver the best possible work.

This Arts Council England-funded training invites CEOs, Artistic Directors and Chairs of Trustees to explore these issues and gain a deeper understanding of the legal and rights framework supporting artistic freedom in the UK. It will also explore the dilemmas thrown up by ethical fundraising, and support organisations to understand when and how to build a relationship with the police in relation to controversial work. The training will be delivered by practitioners from Index on Censorship, Maslaha, Cause4 and the Public Order and Public Safety training team from the College of Policing.

These half-day courses will take place across England between 24 January – 20 June 2018 as follows:

26 Feb 2018 North Home, Manchester Dave Moutrey (CEO) and Jonty Claypole (Chair)
25 Apr 2018 London Southbank, London Jude Kelly (CEO) and Elaine Bedell (Chair – tbc)
23 May 2018 South West Watershed, Bristol Miriam Randall (CEO) and James Touzel (chair)
20 Jun 2018 Midlands New Arts Exchange, Nottingham Skinder Hundal (CEO) and Sukhy Johal, MBE (chair)

For more information and to book, please visit: http://artsfundraising.org.uk/training/risks-rights-reputations-challenging-risk-averse-culture/