New Arts Council England chief: more cuts may be imminent

Posted on: September 19, 2012

Monday (9/17) on the Guardian’s theater blog (London), Lyn Gardner writes, “Cuts to the arts are already biting hard across the country. The battle against future cuts is by no means lost, but clearly we do have to make the argument to government, and in particular the Treasury, more cannily and become much better advocates for the arts at a local level. Public opinion and support really counts. As Simon Mellor, the new executive director of the arts at Arts Council England, pointed out at the ITC summer conference at the Bush theatre on Friday, it is hugely worrying that public support for the arts is dropping. … In fact, Mellor was candid about the future and offered very little cheer, suggesting that there were likely to be more cuts to arts funding to come and ‘maybe sooner than we think’. … It comes at a time when the Arts Council itself is facing substantial cuts, which will mean that by next July it will have lost 150 staff members and could be less capable of helping artists to develop careers. ‘Artists already in the funding system will be fine,’ said Mellor, ‘but I worry how we will support those not yet in the system when we have fewer staff to advise on funding applications.’ ”

Posted September 19, 2012