Friday, February 02, 2007

Arts Council funding

On The Guardian's Theatre Blog, Lyn Gardner questions the Arts Council's funding policy.
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.


  1. Anonymous3:28 am

    Here goes for the third time.

    This is a very significant matter for those writers involved in making theatre.

    Is the Guild concerned?

    Has it written to the government, or even via the industry paper The Stage, voicing these concerns?

    See the Articles in the Guild's Rule Book promoting the interests of writers.

  2. The Guild has continually lobbied the Arts Council in the interests of new writing and the Guild's Theatre Committee has expressed specific concerns about funding issues for individual artists.

    Unfortunately, the bigger problem now is that the Arts Council is likely to face a funding freeze or cut. Again, the Guild is lobbying gvt and opposition parties and working with the Arts Council and literary managers to see how the interests of new writing can be best protected if funding is reduced.


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