The announcement by the Arts Council of a new £1.5m three-year Young People's Participatory project which aims to provide support and training for those working in youth theatre is undoubtedly welcome, particularly in an area which is very much a Cinderella in the arts. But it is also a sign of an increasing trend to fund participatory projects and education work rather than art itself.
Even the Grants for the Arts section on the Arts Council's own website talks not of funding artists but of providing funding for those "who use arts in their work". Theatre companies frequently tell me that while they can access money for education and access projects or go on courses to learn how to be better bureaucrats, it is increasingly difficult to get money to make theatre. In recent years the Arts Council has taken to funding too many umbrella organisations, and not enough artists.
Friday, February 02, 2007
On The Guardian's Theatre Blog, Lyn Gardner questions the Arts Council's funding policy.