We welcome the New Year with news of our Arts Election Manifesto tour beginning its march across the country and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham announcing plans for a British Cultural Capital award, even after hinting that funding cuts might take place. Meanwhile, a threat to services has necessitated the NCA contact councillors in The Wirral to urge them to reject plans to seriously diminish library facilities in the area. And finally, following on from our response to the original consultation, a report has been published regarding the importance of cultural learning.
The past week has seen a series of important interviews with cultural ministers on the future of arts spending by their respective parties, with Labour preparing for cuts and the Conservatives promising increases. A DCMS report has brought to light an alarming reduction in growth for the creative sector and Scottish artists have petitioned against the flagging Creative Scotland proposals. Finally, we ask for continued support in research into participation and excellence in the arts.
The NCA’s manifesto tour is in full flow and a new date has now been added in Birmingham. Arts Council England’s consultation on self-assessment shows a step in the right direction for its regularly funded organisations, while Northern Ireland’s Arts Council has returned results of its investigation into philanthropy and the arts. Meanwhile, the British Council has been urged into cementing its commitment to the arts in the future.
A busy week sees the NCA Arts Manifesto Tour announce dates in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We also provide our response to the Mayor’s Cultural Metropolis report. In Scotland, the Scottish Arts Council has released a report into arts attendance and participation showing strong benefits for education and culture. And as Arts and Business present their new findings on corporate and private investment in the arts, the NCA has been providing informed opinion on BBC London and Radio Four.
The unfortunate national stand-still caused by this week’s adverse weather conditions resulted in the Reading Arts Manifesto tour date being postponed. A new date has been added for the 11 March. The NCA has been asked to give evidence on the new points-based immigration system by the Home Affairs Committee and welcomes your comments and experiences. With news of a severe deficit in theatre technicians in Scotland, the Creative and Cultural Skills Council has released its Creative Blueprint. And as we welcome Liz Forgan to the Chair at Arts Council England (ACE), Sir Christopher Frayling uses his farewell speech as a platform to raise some of his issues and report on his five years as chair.
Scotland has a new Minister for Culture, External Affairs and Constitution - Michael Russell. Along with this announcement, a framework for the Creative Industries in Scotland has been released amidst budget reforms. In England, the Arts Council launched its free theatre for young people under the moniker ‘A Night Less Ordinary’. And with the upcoming Spring Edition of nca news on its way we welcome submissions for our covering image.
The NCA has returned from leading a delegation to discuss the future of arts funding amidst proposed treasury cuts in spending with Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham; Scotland’s new Minister for Culture has pledged his continuing support for the troubled Creative Scotland project with a renewed focus on providing opportunities for artists and creatives within the organisation; the Home Office proposes increases in visa fees; and finally, your last chance to give us your views on the Big Lottery Fund consultation as the deadline draws closer.
As the economy continues to tighten, Arts Council England announces an organisational review in which 24 percent of jobs are set to be cut in order to help the organisation streamline its way to saving £6.5 million. Also this week, the Conservatives have announced plans to implement a National Music Week to help encourage music participation in schools. And, as the BIG Lottery Fund announces its proposals following a public consultation, the NCA has responded with its thoughts on the themes and initiatives put forward.
This week, the NCA gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on the effect the new Points Based Immigration System is having on the cultural sector. A recent survey initiated by the Association on British Orchestras has found that arts events are more popular than sports during a recession and in Northern Ireland, Children Arts – Alive has launched a consultation into the new Children’s Arts Manifesto.