We gathered around 'The Trumpet' first just 2, then slowly the butterflies appeared and what beautiful wings they had. A diverse group, in many different places (geographically) within the sector, the commonality being we all agreed that the current funding structure seems outdated and not one which encourages artistic freedom, creativity or progression. Those butterflies, who were core funded and NPO's, agreed that it can be an administrative, hoop jumping and constraining position and one which they question is where they want to be. So, why then does it feel as artists and creatives this is what we are aiming for and how we will be quality stamped, validated and respected? How do we change that impression? Surely we, as the sector, have to call it out for what it is, what it does to artists and how it's time to DEMAND change.

Comments from the butterflies:
Non- NPO's survival... How?
* work like a dog
* lots of restrictions on accessing/ training/ funding when not an NPO
* lose recognition without perceived status
* appears to be tick- boxes, from ACE, funding is changing the market place, capitalist model, cuts opportunities
* the association with quality is an unfair one and not valid
* getting off the treadmill of trying to go for NPO can be liberating
* no recognition of certain art forms i.e. puppetry, children's work
* specialisms cost/ what artists then make is a watered down version of what they want to create, due to funding
* lots of doors closed in not NPO
* ACE 'choosing' who will work, and how
* how do you grow/ develop with just project by project funding?
* London venues at capacity for ACE funding... so new and developing venues face the reality of no core funding
* the breaking down of scales of NPO seems to be a positive move in the right direction...but needs to be broken down further
* projects start and stop with project funding, no sustainable models exist
* no grassroots support from ACE
* no access to Realtionship Managers if not an NPO
* having to look for commercial models to sustain companies

My call for change and action is this: Could the current NPO funded companies big and small connect/ work with non-NPO companies to share learning, access to space, advocate, share good practice, introduce to gatekeepers, give access to training... the list goes on.

Who out there, big or small, is willing to make this part of their artist development scheme? Could ACE make this a condition of NPO funding... impacting on their #LetsCreate strategy.

This is a vital piece of research... has becoming an NPO impacted positively or negatively on your organisation?