Last week Nick, our advisory producer, was part of a team representing independent theatre companies who called in on Peter Hewitt, Arts Council England’s boss and poked him with a stick. Their idea was that it’s hard to sit on your hands whilst someone is poking you with a stick. Hand sitting isn’t what you want the boss of Arts Council England to be doing when a big wedge of Arts Money is re-routed to property developers, no matter how Olympian they may be.
Anyway, Nick came away with the shocking news that Peter Hewitt had barely received any letters of complaint about the Grants4Arts cut (he mentioned a figure but it was too shockingly low to publish here). The point is, if we don’t howl and complain and scream about the dire consequences of this action what’s to stop them coming back for a few more percentage points when the price of bricks goes up? I felt ashamed of not contributing to the derisory pile of letters and it was in this context that the latest request arrived from Arts Council England for us to take part in the Arts Debate.
The Arts Debate is a public consultation exercise about Public Funding of the arts. It has been running since February and closes on 11th May. Time is running out to get our voices heard, so I got online and filled in the questionnaire. It turned out to be quite easy, I think I may have got full marks. The link here takes you to the debate site, do try and find time to tell the Arts Council what you think. To make things even easier I’ve answered Question 1 for your here. It’s Stan’s Cafe.