Risks, Rights and Reputations

Rights, Risks and Reputations

Challenging a Risk Averse Culture

Rights, Risks and Reputations is a programme of work developed collaboratively with Index on Censorship, What Next? and Cause4. Navigating the rights and responsibilities of art that explores socially sensitive work while respecting the right to protest can appear daunting, risky and time-consuming. The prospect of controversy, police intervention and possible closure or cancellation because the work is provocative, or the funder is controversial, can be powerful disincentives.

Risks, Rights and Reputations was funded by the Arts Council England, it aimed at ensuring arts and cultural organisations and individual practitioners across the country have the tools to handle difficult subjects and sensitive stories to deliver the best work possible.

Ambassadors programme

As part of Risks, Rights and Reputations, What Next? led an Ambassadors programme, providing colleagues across the country with training, mentoring and resources to lead local activity. Between July – November 2018 Ambassadors created opportunities for colleagues to connect, explore and support each other to challenge risk averse cultures with a series of workshops held across the UK. As a result of the programme, we aimed for:

  • Individuals and organisations across the country to be better equipped to deal with sensitive issues
  • The sector will feel more confident to embrace creative risk knowing that they have access to support
  • By sharing experiences and stories people will feel more able to discuss what can be sensitive and difficult topics and find a safe space to voice concerns, fears and experiences relating to creative risk
  • We create a web of support networks across the country

Who are the Ambassadors?

We selected Ambassadors through an open recruitment process in January 2018. We wanted to work with individuals from across the country who were keen to develop new tools to confidently manage difficult subjects and sensitive stories, to support their local cultural community to safely take creative and reputational risks, understand their responsibilities and rights, and the rights of their artists and communities, and to manage complex situations as they arise.

Our Ambassadors were 25 pairs of individuals with an experience of leading workshops and an interest, knowledge and passion for the topic. As part of the programme, the Ambassadors have received training, resources and tools to support them to lead local activity.

Diversity and equality are essential to both the dialogue and learning around artistic risk taking and for stronger a 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.
Meet our Ambassadors ›

Yemisi & James

Ambassador Workshops

A series of Ambassador Workshops took place between July – November 2018 across the UK, creating opportunities to connect, explore and support each other to challenge risk averse cultures.

What other activity?

Alongside the Risks, Rights & Reputations Ambassadors Programme, Index on Censorship and Cause4 were leading half-day workshops for Chief Executives and Chairs of Trustees.

This programme built on the toolkit What Next? developed with support from the Theatre Development Trust and Paul Hamlyn Foundation Meeting Ethical and Reputational Challenges. Click to download your free copy of the toolkit.

We considered options for what happens next, including future opportunities for colleagues to connect and support each other.

Jamie Beddard

Supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Theatre Development Trust.

Index on Censorship logo

Cause4 logo

Arts Council England logo