Future's Venture Foundation

About us

The 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 in 2012.

Who we are

Trust Administrator


Alison Surtees | admin@futuresventure.org

Alison is a creative producer and consultant, and has worked on bringing the Trust to its current position since January 2014 with Trustees.

She is long time collaborator with Soup Collective, a Manchester based digital and media creative collective, co-founder and Board Member of Manchester District Music Archive, an online digital user generated archive, and Board member of Ordsall Community Arts in Salford. She currently works part time for BECTU as Learning Organiser for the North and is Producer/Production and Programme Manager in residence with In Place of War, working on international development of cultural spaces, artists mobility, entrepreneurial and production of festivals programmes.


 Keisha Thompson

Keisha Thompson is a Manchester based writer, performance artist and producer. She is currently working at Contact as the Young People’s Producer managing Contact Young Company. In 2012, Keisha wrote feminist solo show “I Wish I had a Moustache” which she has presented at Contact Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, STUN and Belgrade Theatre. In 2014, she released her debut EP, Abecedarian. Last year, she was commissioned to write a poem from Plan International’s global campaign for International Day of the Girl 2015, titled “Yet”. She is currently working on a new solo show, “Man on the Moon”, with Benji Reid and STUN theatre.




 Rebecca Hillman

Rebecca is a writer, theatre maker and activist. Her teaching and research at the University of Exeter, where she works as a Drama lecturer, is informed by her involvement in trade union and community campaigns. She is fascinated by the history of political art and its role in social and industrial movements, and driven by the belief that it still has a vital role in leveraging political change. Rebecca has written about collective action and rioting, funding contemporary political theatre in the UK, and on the history and revision of agitprop. She is currently working with Banner Theatre, Reel News, Townsend Productions and the General Federation of Trade Unions to create a network of political artists, trade unionists and activist movements more broadly. She has a PhD from the University of Reading, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.



Dave Carter is active in a range of community and cooperative organisations having worked in economic development, urban regeneration and digital initiatives over the past 30 years, both within Manchester City Council and across the city region. His recent work focuses on digital inclusion, smart cities and citizen engagement both in the UK and through a number of European wide networks, including Living Labs, Eurocities and the Connected Smart Cities network. He also specialises in European funding programmes and networking projects, ranging from inter-regional cooperation to research and development and is a Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS) at the University of Manchester. Locally he is an active member of social enterprise initiatives, including Manchester Urban Co-Housing (MUCH), the Manchester District Music Archive and the Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab) as well as the Unite trade union. He says that he owes much to being part of Watford Palace Theatre’s Theatre in Education group as a teenager.

Dave Carter (Chair) (link)




Ruth Daniel is an award winning cultural producer, activist and social entrepreneur. She is Co-Director of multi-award winning organisation, In Place of War (IPOW) based at The University of Manchester, UK. IPOW works with creativity in sites of conflict through five main strands of work: research, education, production, networks and digital. Their main aim is to empower young people through sharing tools to enable local people to create their own opportunity in the world’s most challenging contexts.

They do this through alternative education, the creation of cultural spaces, the mobility of unused music/studio/TV and film equipment (over £200k collected in one year) and the mobility of artists across the world. IPOW also produces work in partnership with The Guardian and with arts festivals across the world. Ruth is the founder of Un-Convention a global grassroots music event and community with a presence in 25 countries and has delivered 73 editions in 6 years.



Michael Barnes-Wynters is Bristol born of Jamaican parentage and is that rare ambidextrous breed who blurs provocative visual arts practice with performative interventions. Radio broadcaster, culturally savvy instigator and charismatic creative producer , he has an infectious passion for contributing to cultural innovation.

His extensive experience in successfully designing, producing, touring and delivering many inspired cross-platform artistic programmes and productions in unsanctioned sites, arts venues, virtual and public realm spaces whilst continuing to produce life-changing skills and mentoring programmes, has provided professional development for numerous emerging and established artists, including the likes of music maker, artist and tea shop proprietor, Mr Scruff.

He has performed internationally and has been commissioned by the likes of MoMA (NYC), Tate Modern(London), FACT (Liverpool), Castlefield Gallery (Manchester) and the Museum of Club Culture (Hull).

Michael is currently developing new touring works with K3 Media alongside his on going exploration of the influence of Jamaican culture on UK subcultures called Dutty Lingo.



Ecological artist David Haley (link) Haley is a Senior Research Fellow in MIRIAD Arts Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University and the founding Director of Ecology In Practice research group. Haley is a Visiting Professor at Zhongyuan University of Technology and Vice-Chair of the Charter Institution for Water and Environmental Management’s Art & Environment Network, and is a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Landscape Research Group, eco-arts network, and greenmuseum.org. He is also a trustee of Future’s Venture and Director of Harrison Studio & Associates (Britain). In addition to ecological arts commissions, he contributes regularly to international journals, publications and conferences.



Tony Lidington (website) “I’ve been a showman for over 35 years and specialise in researching popular British entertainment forms and applying them to contemporary contexts. I work on streets, at seasides, in parks, in schools, old people’s homes, in theatres, wireless and academia. I am an evangelist for the arts and believe that creativity can change both perceptions and practice. John Fox once described me as “…some sort of retro-music hall anarchist”, which is pretty close to the combination of ‘the serious art of being silly’ that I explore and the role of shamanic showman to which I aspire.”