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A Dire Day For The Arts

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MamasDoin'Fine
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A Dire Day For The Arts#1
Posted: 4/1/11 at 8:50am
Some of the country's leading independent theatres are facing an uncertain future after more than 200 organisations were told their Arts Council funding will be withdrawn.

The Almeida Theatre Company in Islington, north London will see their grant cut from 1 million this year to 700,000 in 2015.
The Riverside Studios in Hammersmith and the Derby and Exeter theatres were among the 206 theatre companies, galleries and arts venues who learned yesterday their government grants would dry up in 2012.

Others had their budgets significantly reduced, with the critically acclaimed Almeida Theatre Company in Islington, north London seeing their grant cut from 1 million this year to 700,000 in 2015 a real terms drop of 39 per cent.

It came as the Arts Council announced its funding settlement of 957 million for 2012-15, which included an average cut of 15 per cent to the entire portfolio.
However, in real terms this only brings the funding for 2014/15 down to 2001/02 levels, meaning it is still more generous than the first three annual settlements following the 1997 General Election.
The pot will also be boosted by increased lottery funding, which is set to rise from 149 million a year to 223 million by 2014-15.

Some 1,333 arts companies applied for funding but from next April the Arts Council's portfolio of 849 regularly funded organisations will be slashed to just 695, which includes 110 new additions.
The settlement means hundreds of groups now have a year in which to find new sources of funding, restructure their finances or close entirely.
Dame Liz Forgan, Arts Council Chair, said the Council had decided to make "strategic" cuts designed to protect the most important companies while retaining good access to high-quality arts across the country, rather than "salami slicing" an equal amount across the board.
She said: "The inevitable consequence of that was that we would lose more organisations.
"Some of them will come to us for funding in other ways, some of them will find ingenious ways to get money from elsewhere, and some of them will not survive this. And I am very sorry about that."

The Riverside Studios, which currently receives 500,000 a year, was removed from the Arts Council portfolio along with the central London-based Shared Experience theatre company (360,000), which had fewer than 24 hours earlier celebrated a new residency at the Oxford Playhouse.
A spokesman for the theatre group admitted it now faces an uncertain future, adding: "We are devastated by the decision and will now take time to consider fully where this leaves us and explore how we will continue beyond 2012".
Particularly surprising was the cut of almost half to the Almeida Theatre Company, whose current production of The Knot of the Heart has been widely hailed as one of the best new plays in recent years and who enjoyed huge success with Duet for One, starring Juliet Stevenson, in 2009.

Among the new companies on the Arts Council's portfolio were commercial publisher Faber and Faber and the London-based Bureau of Silly Ideas, which claims to "create inspired madness and controlled chaos in the public realm". Both will receive 40,000 a year from 2012 to 2015.
Eight of the nine major arts companies in Britain were handed funding cuts of 15 per cent, including the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Opera House, while grants for the country's symphony orchestras were cut by an average 11 per cent.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs the arts had to take a "share of the pain" in tackling the deficit, but added the Arts Council's budget reduction of 15 per cent was lower than the 19 per cent average across Whitehall.
Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis said the cuts would have a "chilling impact" and warned some organisations would close down and others would have to increase ticket prices.
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songanddanceman2
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A Dire Day For The Arts#2
Posted: 4/1/11 at 9:47am
So much is theatre as well
Its amazing how many of the ones who got extra money etc are from London.....shocker
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Phantom of London
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A Dire Day For The Arts#2
Posted: 4/1/11 at 12:53pm
I am very against public funding of the arts, there are so many needy cases, having there grants cut or withdrawn because of austerity cuts, it is very sad.

I am happy for the arts, to be funded by the lottery though, as that is one of the reasons it was set up.
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MariusPontmercy
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A Dire Day For The Arts#3
Posted: 4/1/11 at 1:23pm
PoL: the arts make more money for the government than they take from it via subsidy, so it's not a case of that money being better spent elsewhere - the government has more many to spend on other things thanks to the arts. (Not just the subsidised arts, obviously, but they do account for a lot, directly or indirectly.) There is of course the political question of whether the arts should be funded, that's really just a matter of personal opinion, but the financial argument against funding the arts just doesn't hold up at all.
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Princeton Returns
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A Dire Day For The Arts#4
Posted: 4/1/11 at 2:27pm
I think the arts should be part funded, however I am against all the moaning about the cuts to the arts. Yes it is sad and disappointing, but the country is in a financial mess and cuts are falling across the board, and I include where I work in that (which is nothing to do with the arts). Why should the arts be treated any differently. When peoples jobs are at risk and plenty of more worthwhile causes are having their budgets cut, you cant keep plowing money into a form of entertainment. No matter how much we may love it, at the end of the day the arts are not a top priority in life.

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A Dire Day For The Arts#5
Posted: 4/1/11 at 2:41pm
Why should the arts be treated any differently.

For the reason I mentioned above: that ultimately they don't cost the government a penny. They put money in, and get lots more back. That's not true of most (or any?) of the other things that the government is reining in spending on. Agree or disagree with the principle, that's the difference.
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devonian.t
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A Dire Day For The Arts#6
Posted: 4/1/11 at 4:07pm
Exactly, any business which cut funding to the money-making part of its enterprise would be considered insane and quickly fail.

The arts create more than 3 times the investment in tax alone, so, if anything, the government should be backing one its more successful and least harmful enterprises, and supporting potential employers who could provide some of the government's fabled new jobs for the 1000s of public workers who are now being thrown out of essential roles.

And though some of the institutions suffering cuts were troubled, you can't get them back on track by adding to their financial worries.

The bottom line is not about art- it's about jobs.

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A Dire Day For The Arts#7
Posted: 4/1/11 at 8:14pm
Very well said you two
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