Initiated by Harrison in 2015, the Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund (RRAAF) aims to be a new and autonomous funding scheme, which uses renewable energy to offer ‘no strings attached’ grants for art-activist projects in the UK.
In the wake of continued cuts to public funding for the arts and as an ethical alternative to private / corporate sponsorship, RRAAF aims to use renewable energy as an alternative funding source for a grants scheme for socially- and politically-engaged art-activist projects.
From October – December 2015, with support from Beaconsfield in London, 10:10, the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow and Creative Carbon Scotland, Harrison ran a series of public discussion events in collaboration with ArtCOP21 and The Only Way is Ethics and completed a successful ‘phase 1’ crowdfunding campaign in order to launch the RRAAF project.
Crowdfunding brought together a network of 156 people around the UK (now known as the ‘RRAAF Founders’) who were keen to help make RRAAF happen and raised £2,500 (gross). Part of this money was used to commission Community Energy Scotland to write a Scoping Report, which was launched in Glasgow on 17 December 2015 (pictured below).
The RRAAF Report and accompanying RRAAF Resources document described the Project Route for developing the next phase of RRAAF, including convening the RRAAF Founding Symposium – a two-day event open to ‘RRAAF Founders’ and members of the public – which took place at the CCA in Glasgow on 23-24 July 2016 (also pictured below).
At the Symposium the decision was made to constitute RRAAF as a Community Benefit Society (BenCom) – a form of co-operative which ensures proceeds from energy sold can only be used to benefit the local and wider community. At the end of 2016, with support from Co-operative Development Scotland and Energy4All, RRAAF registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as the Radical Renewable Art and Activism Community Energy Society Limited under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
Over the next two years, the BenCom elected new board members from Glasgow and slowly evolved into Glasgow Community Energy, receiving funding from Local Energy Scotland in 2018. Glasgow Community Energy’s first two solar installations were completed on the roofs of two schools in Glasgow in autumn 2020.