the brighton photo fringe

Moving Forward - financing the organisation

Brighton Photo Fringe website image  Tony Elwood

Brighton Photo Fringe website image Tony Elwood

There was a three year pause between the first and second Brighton Photo Biennial. In the daze of the first year, Creagh sought advice from many leading arts administrators in the city who had pledged their support after the success of the first BPF.  Liz Whitehead, CoDirector of Fabrica, Gordon MacDonald then Editor of Photoworks magazine, Tessa Fitzjohn, then Arts Officer at The Arts Council South East, Sarah Elderkin, then Creative Industries Officer at Brighton and Hove City Council and many others offered useful tips and help on how to create a stable, funded organization that could service the needs of the newly created network of photographers that the Brighton Photo Fringe had become. There was a strong sense that something, now started needed to be continued, so Creagh set up plans for a future for the fringe.

By June 2005 Sarah Elderkin had helped Creagh secure seed money for the fringe from a Government scheme designed to promote small creative industries. From here she was able to set up a Steering Committee to apply to the Arts Council for project funding for the next Brighton Photo Fringe. 

The first Steering Committee meeting, was made up of local stakeholders and supporters of the fringe: Lisa Creagh (Director) Gordon MacDonald (Photoworks), John Gill (BFB), Sarah Elderkin (Brighton and Hove City Council), Tessa Fitzjohn (Arts Council South East), Danny Wilson (Fabrica), Greg Daville (artist), Polly Carter (volunteer). 

Gordon MacDonald was appointed Chair and by August 2005. MacDonald, Elderkin and Creagh had written the first funding application, which once approved by the Arts Council, lead to the appointment of Polly Carter as first paid Coordinator of the Brighton Photo Fringe. Once Polly was in position, Gordon MacDonald stepped down as Chair and Danny Wilson took up the post. But by June 2006 with regret, Polly resigned her post and Danny Wilson was given the new role of Director and Gordon MacDonald resumed his role as Chair. Certain that the Fringe was in safe hands, Creagh finally stepped away from the organisation in 2006 to focus on Tidy Street and an MA at Brighton University.

The Brighton Photo Fringe was always a labour of love, for all those who participated the first time round and many who have followed. But as an example of an egalitarian organisation, devoted to the principle of mutual support, it stands strong today as a prominent fixture in the calendar of photographic events in the UK.