It is a generally accepted view among business leaders that cities and regions are drivers of economic growth more than nations and governments.
As Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General has observed: ‘The US doesn’t just have New York – San Francisco, LA, Boston and others are also premier league cities. In Germany, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich thrive alongside Berlin. We need the same in the UK.’
Today Arts Council England announces its National portfolio of arts organisations and its Major partner museums for 2015-18.
I believe the decisions we’ve made reward ambition. We have looked to the future, investing in work for children and young people, and seeking to develop talent, wherever it emerges. We’ve sought to reach into more communities, while continuing to invest in arts organisations that have done great things in the last three years; we want them to build on their past work, and go further.
By now everyone will know about the reductions in funding that have been passed on to Arts Council England, subsequent to the Chancellor’s autumn statement. These cuts will have an effect over the next two years.
Cuts are never good news. I know that budgets will have been set, and this will be an unwelcome further disruption.
In the light of these cuts, there are a couple of points that I’d like to make.
Arts Council Chief Executive, Alan Davey, spoke at the opening of the Michael Chown Prototyping Hall: part of the Heritage Learning Hub at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday 19 September. The following are extracts from his speech.
It is lovely to be here at the prototyping hall, a unique development as part of the pioneering work of the Heritage Learning Hub, work that I first saw about 18 months ago but which has come on apace since then…
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 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.
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.
Rachel McGuire, a Research Officer at Arts Council England, talks about our recently published regional Taking Part profiles, which look at cultural engagement across England, and the value of data in arts and culture.