Arts Work

Kathryn Bilyard: arts activist

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Episode notes

Phoebe speaks to Kathryn about how she set up ARTCRY—a politically responsive, public art fund that gives applicants a decision within 7 days. 

She talks about how she noticed a lack of political artwork in the public realm like the memorable artistic protests of the 1980s. She explains part of why that work didn’t exist was there was no existing fund to support reactionary artwork with a lead time of anything less than 6 weeks. In solving that problem, Kathryn came up with ARTCRY. 

Kathryn explains how she used professional networks and input from artists to refine the initial idea. She also discusses the skill set she built as a theatre producer that proved instrumental in building the partnerships that took ARTCRY from idea to reality. 

Kathryn’s experience shows that if you notice a gap in the market, something that you think should exist but doesn’t, you might be the perfect person to build it. 

Arts Work is brought to you by Sadler’s Wells in association with Barclays Dance Pass.   

You can find:    

  • transcripts and details on the full series here   
  • more information on Barclays Dance Pass here   
  • follow Sadler's Wells on Twitter @Sadlers_Wells  
  • more information on ARTCRY here 
  • follow ARTCRY on Twitter @ARTCRY1 


 Kathryn mentions:


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