CultureBanking… Worth getting curious about?

Building the local cultural economy.
Building the local cultural economy.

Where public services are struggling in towns, cities and rural areas of the greatest social deprivation, the existence of market-driven environments are often even harder to establish and less central to the existing culture of those areas. Problems derived from economic stagnation such as de-motivation, lowered expectations and passivity mean that stimulating economic activity – and cultural economic activity in particular – is especially difficult. Harnessing and growing local communities’ enthusiasms, craft skills and innovation is more and more essential – especially ‘post Brexit’.

Arts organisations and individuals are finding themselves in often foreign environments where they are being asked to demonstrate commercial viability and to become almost entirely self funding – or perish – particularly those who relied on Local Authorities. (See #CivicRoleArts in January 2017 for results of the Gulbenkian Enquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Orgs, which Gallery 133 has contributed to)

Even in the state run NPO environment, there is a trend towards using public money to leverage private investment. There is a need on a local, national and international basis for new mechanisms which encourage a more ‘market – driven’ environment in the cultural sector, but one which doesn’t crush small and local endeavours. CultureBank is precisely such a mechanism…


A proposed mixture of online magazine and and guided donation website, crowd-funder, Collective Rights Management and ‘imprinted brand'; CultureBanking aims to act as a ‘route to market’ to value, support and ultimately re-cycle the cultural output of communities for spiritual, emotional, social and financial improvement and sustainability. 

A ‘local label’ that can trade globally:

We aim to help build local integrated thriving economies – where trade is a mechanism of connecting people and countering isolation. The idea is based on a combination of a gift-exchanging business models and asset based community development. 

Relying upon and working with FinTech developers in the areas of smart contracts and Distributed Ledger Technologies, Gallery133 is working in 2017 on elements of the business with a phased ‘Feasibility/Scoping, Testing and future Launch proposed…

By building connections between cultural producers and innovators and their fans, patrons, audiences or more prosaically, ‘consumers’ or ‘markets’, CultureBanking is inviting potential users to direct their cultural spending not just towards cultural products they enjoy (film, music, books, theatre etc) but also towards changes they want to see in the world  – both locally and nationally. 

We’re organising 3 focus sessions with local arts organisations in order to make sure the research and development comes directly from real needs amongst local artists, musicians and makers (Please see below for registering an interest in these sessions).

G133 is currently reserving IP rights and researching how CB might work across different medias from crafts to music to film and digital technology…

We are talking to potential partners and investors in all sectors and are especially interested in the potential for Action Research projects in UK Universities…

We’re also interested in working with arts organisations and companies from Fintech, IP legal, accounting and ‘Ap’ software development areas. if you would like to know more about CultureBanking, find out how it could benefit you or would like to sign up to a mailing list to receive updates about it’s future development, or possibly attend one of our focus sessions – please go to: and fill in the contact form details. There is also a Facebook page for Gallery133 and @thegallery133 Twitter account where you can leave any comments or queries.

To discuss any matters in particular, please use:

Liam Murphy.