Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Arts Council England chief at the ITC

Alan DaveyFor The Guardian Theatre blog Lyn Gardner reports on a speech by new Arts Council England(ACE) chief executive, Alan Davey (pictured, left), at the Independent Theatre Council conference in London.

Gardner concludes:
Can Davey succeed in changing the culture at the Arts Council and rebuild trust in the organisation? Does he really want to? I hope so for all our sakes, but I reckon he hasn't got long to do the job. With an election (which might well see the Tories back in power) no more than two years away, probable increased pressure on lottery money from Olympic budgets looming, and a recession squeezing public spending, time is not on his side. But after the deafness and arrogance of the dying days of Hewitt's regime (a CBE in the honours list for his "services to the arts") Davey shows all the signs of genuinely trying to listen to what the theatre community is saying. It's up to us as much as to him to make sure that the channels of communication are kept open so that a real dialogue can develop.

This opportunity may not come our way again, so we should seize the moment. Don't be shy.
Aside: Earlier on in her post, Gardner objects to Davey's "intimation that innovative theatre is 'new writing'(it is, but it is a great deal of other stuff too)"

Fair enough, but many playwrights will feel glad to hear someone senior at ACE mention new writing at all.

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