An interview with ESP & Public Programmer Amelia Beavis-Harrison about our upcoming collaborative 'Lunch and Pitch' event taking place 26 October 2018.

Give us an overview of the Lunch and Pitch event that ESP and Axisweb have organised.

Its a micro-funding project where a group of artists, curators and creative practitioners come together to share lunch and ideas. Over lunch different people pitch ideas that are then voted on to win the pooled pot of cash!

Eastside Projects and Axisweb have each put in £100, and all the pitchers put in £5 so the pooled pot of cash will be around £250 by the end of the day. Everyone taking part is investing in other people's ideas, it’s quite a supportive way of funding each others work, and hearing about interesting projects.

What was the rationale behind organising the event?

We wanted to make an event that brought people together, perhaps to meet for the first time, share conversation and then possibly win some money to fund a project or idea. Everyone is welcome and it's free to Axisweb and ESP members to attend.

We know that it is tough to find funding particularly for small scale projects, or ideas that need to get started so we borrowed the SOUP concept of pooling money together to fund something larger.

As Eastside Projects and Axisweb are both member organisations representing different artists across the UK and abroad we wanted to see if this event would be a merger of people, and an opportunity to make new connections.

What’s the format of Lunch and Pitch?

It's a familiar format that has been tried in other cities and countries. After sharing some food together different people vote for an idea they want to fund. The original SOUP project is community focused, so people vote on the project that will most benefit the community.

How can people get involved?

There are a few different ways people can be involved. You can come along and pitch an idea, which has the potential to be crowdfunded at the event. Or if you would prefer to listen to other peoples interesting ideas then you can come along for lunch and be a member of the audience, you also get to vote!

The deadline to apply to pitch is 26 September, there is more info here.

Tell us briefly about ESP and what they do

ESP is the membership programme for Eastside Projects in Birmingham, we are made up of artists, curators, designers, makers, writers and a whole host of other exciting folk. ESP was set up to support the development of work, ideas, connections and careers. We run a programme of events, opportunities and projects where ESP members can be involved at different levels. For example ESP member and artist Brian Morrison has been organising an event with Hamish MacPherson called Masculinity Where Are You? in October, its going to be great!

You’re also a member of Axisweb, how has this benefitted your practice?

I joined Axisweb as a curator so that I could share my work online with others, its was as much about visibility as it was about having a support network. I soon gave up the title of curator and focused on my art practice which Axisweb have supported with showing my work in different digital environments, I have even had one or two exhibitions come through from people finding my work on Axisweb. It's interesting to see how Axisweb has evolved over the years and is adapting to fit different needs, it's a very different space than it was ten years ago and I think that reflects the changing nature of being an artist today within an online space.

Find out more about the Lunch and Pitch event >

Amelia Beavis-Harrison on Axisweb >