This year’s Edinburgh Festival opened with a typically thoughtful and provocative speech from the playwright Mark Ravenhill, about the relationship between the artist and society, and whether, to the truly adventurous spirit, public investment might prove as much a restriction as a security.
Last week we launched the new Arts Council England/PRS for Music Foundation Momentum Music Fund, aimed at emerging talent in contemporary popular music. This is not an area that the Arts Council has ventured into in any systematic way before, although through our funding to organisations such as Small Green Shoots, Generator, Urban Development and British Underground, and lottery grants through our Grants for the arts scheme we have been investing over £2 million a year in this area of music.
The Grants for the arts Libraries fund is open until March 2015, investing £6 million of the Arts Council's National Lottery money into projects delivered by public libraries or library authorities working in partnership with cultural organisations.
The Happy Museum Project, led by the Museum of East Anglian Life and funded through the Arts Council’s Renaissance Strategic support fund, is a programme to help museums look at and test the role they play in developing community resilience and wellbeing against global financial and environmental challenges.
It is just over a year since we announced the first museums funded through our Renaissance programme. Here Hedley Swain, Director, Museums, takes a look at what has been achieved since then.
Last month we announced a £17 million investment in English regional museums through the latest round of the Renaissance Strategic support fund, a good time to reflect on how much has happened since we first assumed responsibility for museums at the Arts Council in October 2011 and some of the challenges currently facing us.
Theatre-maker and writer, Lucy Neal is working on a handbook mapping creative practices that inspire a sustainable future. Here she describes a residency with other artists at the Arvon Foundation retreat. Playing For Time is funded by Arts Council England and Transition Network, in partnership with Arvon, the Centre for Alternative Technology and the new economics foundation.