Thursday, February 16, 2006

The future of the Arts Council

What are the government's plans for the Arts Council, wonders Rupert Christiansen in The Daily Telegraph.
After a quiet start as Culture Minister, David Lammy has fired his first shot across the bows. At the Association of British Orchestras' conference last month, his speech made rumbling noises about that old bugbear, the Arts Council, an agency funded by his own Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

"We must reform the Arts Council," Lammy said. It's got "to slim down", "get smarter" and prove that it is "more than a passive cash machine". Most significantly, he thinks that there is a strong case for "loosening the reins" between the council and many companies that have "reached a sufficient level of organisational maturity to merit autonomy".

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