Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund – Kickstarter

RRAAF (Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund) will use a wind turbine to generate renewable energy to fund a ‘no strings attached’ grant scheme for art-activist projects.

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My name is Ellie Harrison and I’m an artist based in Glasgow (UK). I’m fundraising for “phase 1” of an ambitious new project called the Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund (RRAAF), which, once set up, will be a new and autonomous alternative funding scheme for art-activist projects in the UK.

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By supporting this Kickstarter, you will become a RRAAF Founder – helping to raise awareness for the project and fund the initial scoping work being carried out by Georgy Davis fromCommunity Energy Scotland. This will be completed ready to be presented at our Launch Event at CCA Glasgow on 17 December 2015 (6:30pm), where we will outline plans for how we can make RRAAF a reality in the coming years (phase 2). Once “phase 1” is complete, RRAAF Founders will be invited to become actively involved in shaping and developing the project in “phase 2” – as future advisors, board members (or similar).
About me + how the idea developed

Since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, my work has focussed on researching, exposing and challenging the workings of our economic system. This has led me to develop an expanded practice that now encompasses both art projects / performances (see Anti-Capitalist Aerobics and The Other Forecast), and direct political campaigning (see Bring Back British Rail, the campaign for the public ownership of our railways I have been running since 2009).

In 2013-4, I took part in Campaign Lab – a nine-month ‘economic justice’ campaigning course coordinated by the New Economics Foundation in London. Since then, and in the wake of continued cuts to public funding for the arts, I have become interested in developing a new model for an alternative funding system, which offers a real working alternative, as well as a critique of the status quo: highlighting how current funding sources for art (from commercial sponsorship to state investment) can influence its content, sometimes to the detriment.

And so the idea for the Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund (RRAAF) was born! Once set up, RRAAF will use a wind turbine to generate renewable energy to fund a ‘no strings attached’ grant scheme for art-activist projects.

This summer, I have been developing the RRAAF project identity with Glasgow-based designerNeil McGuire with the support of Beaconsfield London and CCA Glasgow, with a view to launching the RRAAF concept and this Kickstarter in autumn – winter 2015, through a series of publicity stunts and public events in London and Glasgow as part of ArtCOP21, The Only Way is Ethics and ArtCOP Scotland. These will culminate in the Launch Event at CCA Glasgow on 17 December 2015 (6:30pm), where I will present the outcomes of the scoping work funded through this Kickstarter together with Georgy Davis from Community Energy Scotland.

Budget / Timescale

RRAAF “phase 1” October – December 2015

• £1,200 – Community Energy Scotland Fee
• £225 – RRAAF Founder Rewards
• £75 – Kickstarter Fees
• £1,500 – TOTAL

If we exceed our Kickstarter goal, additional funds will go towards RRAAF “phase 2” – making the project a reality, which may cost up to £1m. So please give generously even if our goal has been met!

Risks and challenges

Backers must be aware that this Kickstarter will only fund the initial scoping work for the Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund project (phase 1) and not the setting up of the wind turbine itself (phase 2), which may cost up to £1m and take many years to realise. The scoping work is relatively risk free and will be completed ready to be presented at our Launch Event at CCA Glasgow on 17 December 2015 (6:30pm). It will then also be published on the RRAAF website. The RRAAF Founder Rewards will be produced and posted out in December – January (once the Kickstarter funds have been received), arriving by the end of January 2016 at the latest.

RRAAF “phase 2” will commence in January 2016, with an invitation to all RRAAF Founders to become actively involved in shaping and developing the project – as future advisors, board members (or similar). Phase 2 will require another significant fundraising campaign, the scale of which will be determined in the initial scoping work. I am committed to taking the project as far as possible to attempt to make it a reality and I am using this Kickstarter and the RRAAF Founder scheme to build the supportive community of people around the UK, which will be necessary to make it happen.

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