Davey, speaking in his first major press interview, naturally denies that the winter's funding settlement, in which 185 companies lost their entire grant, was a mess - though he admits the "timing could have been better", and has asked Labour peer Genista Mackintosh to look at what lessons can be learned from the debacle. He says senior staff have been "laying bare our souls" to her. He was evidently taken aback by the force with which the arts world turned on the council. "One of the things that shocked me about that was how little credit we had in the bank [with arts practitioners]. We've got to rebuild our credit," he says. "One of the things that hurt me a bit was that we were portrayed as a lot of faceless bureaucrats."
Monday, April 14, 2008
In The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins talks to new Arts Council England chief executive, Alan Davey.