Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Arts Council's chief exec Peter Hewitt has finally made a public statement in today's Guardian about the Olympically-motivated cuts to the arts announced in the past couple of weeks.

I can't decide what troubles me more, the lack of fire in his belly or the wankers in the comments section saying this country's arts and artists are all talentless losers who don't dserve funding anyway.

Get over there, people, and give them what for.

1 comment:

Seb said...

Hello, this is a copy of my comment on the Guardian blog.

I have a few friends who have been beneficiaries of Arts Council funding and have seen the immeasurable difference it has made to their careers. In my experience, those battling away to make a living in the arts work twice as hard as the average 9-5 desk monkey.

I live in Venezuela where there is very little arts funding. There are large galleries which receive a huge amount of funding from oil revenues to put on increasingly politicised shows, but there is no centralised funding body for individuals or community groups to apply for small-scale project funding. As a result the galleries are free to enter but remain mostly empty most of the time. I believe that this is because Sr. Jose Average here has no contact with the arts (beyond traditional folk music and political murals) on a daily basis and so would not even dream of going to the Ateneo Theatre, National Gallery or Museum of Contemporary Art to see the latest show, be what it may. The lack of arts education among the general population is painfully clear.

The UK is a melting pot of creativity which regularly produces hugely imaginative individuals and groups whose impact and influence often reache international or even global levels - and Im not just talking about Coldplay or Tracy Emin.

I'm not saying this is all thanks to the Arts Council - that would be to disregard the dedication and efforts of the artists themselves - but this truly democratic arts funding system should be recognised for the massive contribution it makes to community life in the UK. Plundering it to fund a mammoth project like the Olympics, which already enjoys huge amounts of corporate sponsorhip, is simply unforgivable.