Thu 11 Apr 2019 3:41PM

Art Grant Accountability/Transparency

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Today people are hearing the results of their art grant applications. This is a discuss accountability and transparency on art grants decision making.


[deactivated account] Thu 11 Apr 2019 3:44PM

What degree of accountability and transparency can we expect from the Art Grants team on their decision making. Money is tight it seems, and plenty of people might be getting disappointing news today.

I would like Nest to be fully transparent about which projects were funded to what degree and to what amount, and which were rejected, with clear reasoning for all, and that information available to all.

Perhaps that is done every year anyway, in which case, ignore this - but I haven't noticed it before.


Simon Edwards Thu 11 Apr 2019 4:12PM

I think this is a very sensible idea


Siren Thu 11 Apr 2019 11:03PM

AFAIK it's released every year. Lexy certainly released this information last year - in as much as all applications received grants. This year might be different as there have been a lot of applications.

I don't believe money is tight and i think it's moderately nefarious to suggest so. We are on the verge of selling all memberships, so there wont be a dearth of monies.


Simon Edwards Fri 12 Apr 2019 6:40AM

That's interesting because not all applications received grants. I know that because I was one, even though I now see we had £900 left in the end.
What's the process here if people are declined, they do it anyway and we end up in a similar position with art grant money unclaimed again?


Lozmatron Fri 12 Apr 2019 8:01AM

I think I was one of the culprits with about £250 unclaimed from arts grants in the end. Post-event I just didn’t have the receipts I needed to claim and so didn’t end up doing it...


Lozmatron Fri 12 Apr 2019 9:57AM

Presumably the money left over which is unclaimed would just go into the budget for the following year to fund more awesome art next time around??


Amandasm Fri 12 Apr 2019 12:45PM

"Money is tight" is true in the sense that there are not enough art grant funds to fund all the applications. A lot had to be rejected this cycle. And both last year and this year a lot of grants, especially in cycle 2, were far below what people asked for or what we would have liked to fund.
We did not give funding to every single application last year - I think our Finance Lead got this impression because we did receive some extra funding near the end which allowed us to fund some people who had not received any funding yet.


Amandasm Fri 12 Apr 2019 12:47PM

yes any money left over goes into the next year


Lexy Sat 13 Apr 2019 8:53AM

Just to clarify, when the information was released about "all art grants have been funded" this was not at the end of the cycles, but at the time of particular community meeting and in context of discussing art grants at that time.

That said, I wasn't aware that there were later applications declined so apologise if I may have given misinformation on that point.

As Amanda as said, there was additional budget assigned to Art Grants once we realised we had higher budget than expected initially due to higher ticket sales. Our initial budget was based on 450 ticket sales, however we sold nearer 500 tickets for the event so various teams were given more budget at this time.


Siren Sat 13 Apr 2019 11:27AM

Ahh ok. thanks amanda for clarification. We released a comms about this so that's where i'm getting my info from.


Charlotte Davis Fri 12 Apr 2019 4:07AM

Last year’s financial report is here: https://www.burningnest.co.uk/2019/03/25/nest-2018-financial-report/ however it doesn’t break down the art grants.


Ashley Wed 17 Apr 2019 9:36AM

On this subject, there's a list of art grants awarded this year - I assume this is ok to post? Can't see why it wouldn't be...

Anarchraft - £50.00
AQOP - £580.00
Art of the dick pic - £20.00
Bimble Post - £140.00
Clock - £100.00
Communal Fire - £290.00
Cyanotype workshop (Sun print) - £65.00
Duck Shooting Range - £50.00
Fluffing Cafe - £50.00
Free your flow - £200.00
Good/Bad Conscience/Shamanic Mechanic/Wild West Quickdraw Standoff - £50.00
How We Survived The Apocalypse - £475.00
LED Mushroom/Crystal Grove - £300.00
Les Sauvauge - £700.00
Lighting on the Lake - £240.00
LipSync for your drink' - £150.00
Mask Work Shop - £50.00
OFITR DJ booth - £330.00
Opening ceremony - £170.00
Origins - £300.00
Phenoforge - £200.00
Pride of the Bowerbird: Bring your blues - £570.00
Print You - £150.00
Radiant Roaming Tiny Tunes - £70.00
Shamanarama Cafe - £300.00
Teddy Bear Making Workshop - £60.00
The Bridge - £900.00
The Creative Collective Upcycled Musical Instruments - £50.00
The Memory Span - £150.00
The Sneaky Cauldron - £250.00
The Spa - £250.00
The watering troll - £150.00
The whisper stage - £500.00
Tombstone Making - £40.00
Welcome To The Jungle (OFITR) - £100.00
When in Dome - £650.00


AussieFred Wed 17 Apr 2019 3:42PM

perhaps who was funded, not the amounts?


Amandasm Thu 18 Apr 2019 4:16PM

Our Grants Lead @tippi is very busy right now with school related deadlines so I don’t know if she’s seen this or has time to respond any time soon.

I can comment as a member of the committee though, that going over every application and explaining all the decisions related to it would be a huge time consuming task. Grants decisions aren’t a science. Trying to go over the 60 applications this year to recall and record everything brought up in conversation between 5 people in over 5 hours worth of discussion over 2 meetings (on top of the hours spent by each going over the applications beforehand to score against the grants criteria) is a huge ask. I’m not sure it’s going to be that helpful either, or whether all the artists involved would appreciate a bunch of extra people jumping in after the fact with opinions on their applications and whether or not they deserved what they got, etc.

Going forward, next year we can certainly set things up ahead of the decision meetings in order to better record all the "whys" involved.

What might be more helpful at this time would be suggestions on the best way for the grants committee to make decisions in the most fair way. Look over the current process, ask specific questions about it, give feedback, maybe do a survey to gauge what sort of art the community wants to prioritise or what other things we could score, etc.

I have already started a thread on this topic under the Arts/creativity subgroup if you have any feedback.


Amandasm Thu 18 Apr 2019 4:18PM

Some stats on grants this year:

Total amount requested in 2019: £38,387.50
Total grants budget 2019: £9,000

**Cycle One:

13 applications
1 withdrawn

Leaving: 12 applications considered in cycle 1.

Got funding: 9
No funding at all: 3

Of those receiving funding:

Got their full amount asked for: 1
Got at least their minimum ask: 5
Got less than their minimum ask: 3

**Cycle Two:

47 applications
1 withdrawn
1 turned into lighting competition for The Point

Leaving: 45 applications considered in cycle 2.

Got funding: 28
No funding at all: 17

Of those receiving funding:

Got their full amount asked for: 4
Got at least their minimum ask: 13
Got less than their minimum ask: 11


Lexy Thu 9 May 2019 11:27AM

Thank you for this breakdown, this is really interesting to know as a Community member (and not involved in Arts Grants myself).


Adrian Godwin Fri 19 Apr 2019 12:39PM

What would be the benefit of adding further details ? The option to question them is awkward : it means the artist can't start the work until the question is resolved. Many more details (i.e. the whole proposal and any subsequent discussion) would be needed to evaluate properly.
I think the first question to be resolved in making any changes is 'what problem are we trying to solve'. and an early followup is 'what new problems have we created'.


Tippi Thu 9 May 2019 11:05AM

Hi everyone, sorry I've been silent, I've had a lot on my plate. I think this is an interesting topic and I find it very interesting that the person who started this topic has stirred the pot and then disappeared. I also find it very interesting that the individual was annoyed because they didn't get any funding - and for very good reason. Some of their projects they were requesting money for have been funded by nest art grants in previous years as well as by other events grants systems too. I am all for transparency. However, this is a do-ocracy and if you would like more transparency then is currently being given I welcome you to come and do that yourself. It is a lot of work without adding that on top and i don't have the time or the energy to add this new layer of work on top everything because some people have screamed that they want it. if you want it, you do it. come and do art grants. I myself have previously applied for art grants and this is my way of giving back. I don't appreciate being attacked by the community for giving my time. I also don't appreciate the artist giving out peoples funding amounts. Did you ask consent from the artists if they wanted people in the community to know what they received? I'm feeling very upset and frustrated that all of sudden because someone didn't get their grant the whole system is being attacked by people that are not willing to give their time yet asking someone else to give more of theirs. The system is a group decision, to avoid bias and we consider a lot of different angles. I agree that positive changes could be made and I sincerely hope some of you with good ideas will be offering your time towards the arts admin next year as it is a big job and I will not be continuing in the position.


Siren Thu 9 May 2019 11:45AM

I completely agree and support you with this position. It's very disappointing to be criticised when people don't realise what an enormous job being a org team member is.

I will also say in yours and Amanda's defence, art is so subjective and i'm sure that the decisions taken are done so with a very creative eye and the best of endeavours to prioritise the art which fit with the theme and the event itself.

As an artist myself in my career choice, so many people think their art is amazing and don't consider that perhaps it might not be or that others just don't agree that it is.

If i may speak outside of the jurisdiction of my role, and with perfect candour: it is a very entitled view for artists to assume that A. they will be given money automatically, and B. their art is worth funding.

Thank you for all you do @tippi and @amandasm and i'm sorry you've had to manage this on top of a very demanding volunteer role.


Lexy Thu 9 May 2019 1:17PM

Tippi - Thank YOU for all your efforts, it sounds like its been a challenging year with so many applications!

It is exciting times with so many more camps, more art grant applications, more people wanting memberships ... :slight_smile:


Tippi Mon 13 May 2019 6:44PM

Thank you guys, I know art grants is probably one of the easier positions And so much thanks to @amandasm for the amazing amount of hard work and time you put into arts. I really couldn’t have done it without you Xx

I also just want to say, I think the small group for decision making is the only real way for those decisions to be made... if you start inviting too many more people in and it would become a very long process and open meetings would make making hard decisions harder because you can’t be as honest for fear of upsetting someone who is maybe listening.... just how it is unfortunately. ... pls feel free to disagree tho