Future's Venture Foundation was established in 2015 to support the work of artists making radical work with an ethical focus. The Foundation is endowed by the closure of Lanternhouse International, formerly Welfare State International, established by John Fox and Sue Gill in the late 60’s. There is a long and proud lineage of radical arts, and this is the bedrock of the foundation today.
The work of the Foundation is based on principles agreed at the first meeting of Trustees in 2015. This manifesto forms the ethical basis of all our decisions. Awards are only given to work that clearly supports the ethical and environmental ethos of the Foundation.
Future’s Venture Foundation is borne of a long tradition of radical art practice that can be traced back to 1968, and the establishment of Welfare State International (WSI), by John Fox, Sue Gill, Roger Coleman and others. WSI brought art out of theatres and galleries and into the street, for the engagement and joy of everyone, in and of itself a radical act at the time. Focusing on grand spectacle, celebratory events and true community engaged practice, the organisation grew to deliver across the nation and internationally.
Requiring a Head Quarters and a place of Research for artists, the establishment of Lanterhouse was instigated, a beautiful building in Ulverston, Cumbria, which also became an arts organisation in its own right. At the close of Welfare State, on the standing own of John Fox in 2006, Lanternhouse International was already developing and delivering programmes as a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England. However, in 2012, the organisation lost the NPO status, and the remaining Trustees, Denis McGeary and David Haley began a process of writing business plans and applying for other funding, without success. During this period. The Manifesto was written with remaining staff affiliated artists and Trustees, and in 2013, Richard Povall and Alison Surtees were commissioned to transfer the assets of the building to a new Charitable Trust, Future’s Venture Foundation.
For further reading on Welfare State International visit here: