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.
Welcome to the first of my posts on the Arts Council’s blog channel. This blog and the ones which follow will give me and others working here - and within the sector in general - a space to communicate our passion for arts and culture and to share some of our knowledge about current issues. It’s also a place for conversation and I’m looking forward to reading some of your thoughts on the topics we talk about.
This summer poet, performer and Creative Director of Mercy Nathan Jones, used Artists' international development funding for a five-day research trip to Berlin culminating in an Electronic Voice Phenomena performance at Künstlerhaus Bethanien and a workshop for Berlin-based artists in Liverpool.
We asked him about his work, the trip and his recommendations for artists undertaking a similar project.
This weekend sees the end of the 20th edition of the London Jazz Festival. Forty events at the festival feature musicians who have participated in the talent development project Take Five, including a bespoke performance this Saturday by the 10 participants in the first edition of Take Five: Europe.