congress / people

Julia Rowntree

Date and place of birth: 1951, Reading, UK

Living place: Londyn, UK

Theme: fundraising

ECC Participation: panel member

photo: private archive

An expert in acquiring financial and social support for contemporary art projects. For 20 years, Rowntree was Development Director at the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), where she was responsible for obtaining funding from the private sector. She detailed her experiences with the artistic and business worlds in her book “Changing the Performance. A Companion Guide to Arts, Business and Civic Engagement”. A publication considered a must-read for independent cultural organizations.

“Every company or institution – whether public or private – is not only an organization with a goal and some sort of role to play, it is a group of people working together to achieve something.”

She left LIFT in 2006 and initiated an independent arts company - Clayground Collective, where she manages, along with Duncan Hooson, a project straddling the fields of art, anthropology and cultural animation. The goal of “Project Clay”, is to furnish a new public space in London from clays relayed from 200 different places on Earth. Participants are invited to literally dig a kilogram of clay from the country they live in and relay this to London, where the collected samples will be combined to form a piece symbolic of the world through the “variety of its earths”. Clayground Collective is also working with youth, the elderly and other experts in dance, performance, science, animation to dig clay in London – a city built on clay – to teach ceramic skills and prepare for creation of the final piece. An archive of stories and legends from places of origin of the various clay samples is also being created.