Contemporary Theatre "Philanthropy" and the Purchase of Participatory Privilege

Alston, Adam and Daker, Rebecca. 2012. Contemporary Theatre "Philanthropy" and the Purchase of Participatory Privilege. Contemporary Theatre Review, 22(3), pp. 433-437. ISSN 1048-6801 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This brief article looks at the ramifications of private and corporate philanthropy having become institutionalised in the policy of Arts Council England - although couched in the rhetoric of mixed economic funding - and in the fund-raising strategies of theatres themselves (perhaps as a consequence). Philanthropic giving frequently comes with strings attached, strings tied to a much wider system of power. This, in itself, may seem a tired complaint: patronage of various kinds has been a fact of artistic life for centuries. But perhaps this complaint seems a little less tired once we ask how 'philanthrocapitalism' might be trickling through into arts funding policy, particularly in the light of the heritage from which this trickling stems. And what of the recent, but dumped plans of the current coalition government to cap philanthropic giving?

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Contemporary Theatre Review on 20 August 2012, available online:


arts funding; theatre funding; philanthropy; philanthrocapitalism; austerity; Arts Council England

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


20 August 2012Published Online

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Date Deposited:

24 Jan 2020 10:39

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 02:06

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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