I’m still reflecting on the Arts Council of England – ACE – cuts to funding.
I’m also currently working very hard to make a production of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s music drama The Consul happen in London next September. It will cost something in the region of £120,000 and it will be a tough call to get most of it from ACE. We are not a flagship company, but we have made excellent work with miniscule resources and we have been funded in the recent past.
But ‘belts have to be tightened’. The Olympics are coming. Arts sacrifices have to be made!! (The Olympics last two weeks and the budget currently stands at 9 billion pounds – and rising)
Then, this week the government announced that they are bailing out the private bank Northern Rock for nearly 60 billion pounds. 60 billion? For a private bank that got itself into trouble on the back of the sub-prime loan crisis in the US? This seems a little extreme… Until you think that confidence in the whole UK banking system is riding on it.
But I’m trying to remind myself, the Arts in Britain is a massive plus-earner for the country. Think of West End Theatre. The Proms. The Edinburgh Festival – and the million and one arts initiatives that go on weekly up and down the country. It’s one of the biggest attractions for tourists – a multi-billion pound earner for the UK economy
And yet, relatively, the arts themselves are funded on peanuts…