It’s seven days since I began my new job at Arts Council England, so I thought that I would take the opportunity to share some thoughts and experiences from my first week as Chief Executive.
I’m very much in learning mode at the moment. As well as meeting the teams based in each of our nine offices around the country, I also wanted to ensure that I took the opportunity to meet some of the people who run the broad range of arts and cultural organisations that are supported by Arts Council England.
Last year we commissioned a research study, from economists Daniel Fujiwara and George MacKerron, examining how different arts and cultural institutions affect levels of happiness. Richard Russell, our Director of Policy and Research, blogs about the results, which we've just published.
I go to museums a lot; it’s part of Arts Council keeping fully in touch with what’s happening around the country. But Friday was unusual even for me. I visited all eight Cambridge University museums and galleries in a single day: an exhausting, inspiring whistle stop tour.
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.