Thursday, 31 May 2012

Shake-up in funding hits [larger] arts groups

Phil Miller: Shake-up in funding hits arts groups
The Herald, Friday 18 May 2012  
ARTS companies last night expressed fears for their future after one of the most significant revamps of cultural funding in recent years.Creative Scotland, the nation's main arts funding body, has reviewed and changed the funding basis of 75 companies and agencies across the country.The companies, encompassing theatre, the visual arts, traditional music, dance and festivals, were informed late on Wednesday night they now fall into three categories and will be funded on a project-by-project basis, on a yearly basis, or as one of the body's longer-term Foundation Organisations.Forty-nine companies, including notable names such as the CCA in Glasgow, NVA, The Common Guild, Vanishing Point, the Talbot Rice Gallery and Grid Iron, are now on project funding, a money pot which could support one project or up to two years' funding.Twenty-two companies, including major festivals such as Celtic Connections, GI, the St Magnus Festival in Orkney, and the Edinburgh Fringe, are now on annual funding while three companies, the Highland Print Studio, Edinburgh Printmakers and Cumbernauld Theatre, have become new Foundation Organisations. One company is no longer making work [what a euphemism!].

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Eether, eyether, neether, nyther

Aside from the Arts' ethical impasse, as projected Lottery revenue increases depends on increased gambling on tickets as a factor of austerity cuts, which former FXO is going to be the first to point out:
  • "Lottery money funds additional activities and does not substitute for statutory funding" 
  • "Lottery money cannot and should not be a substitute for statutory funding"
  • "...not acting as a substitute for statutory spending cuts"
  • "Lottery money is supposed to be 'additional' to ordinary spending by the government, not a substitute for it."
As an example:
“( ) Any grant or loan made under subsection (1) must not—(a) replace or substitute for government or local authority expenditure;(b) subsidise or provide part of the costs for a service that is provided on a contract basis for a statutory body;(c) replace statutory funding that has been withdrawn or is in danger of being withdrawn; or(d) duplicate services that a statutory body currently provides.”
The Scotsman, Monday 21 May 2012
"…They used to give them out for things like visual arts or literature. Now there’s the suspicion that its multi-tasking portfolios, that were introduced when CS was formed a couple of years back, are simply confusing the picture. In the six months ending December 2011, according to its website, Creative Scotland made 576 awards. Of these, 340 were individual project awards. Take a look at some of the awards on their web page, under headings like “cultural economy”, “innovation”, or “quality arts production”. Then replace your head. Before Creative Scotland, it appears that civil servants chiefly had the job of picking companies and assessing whether they were any good, and should keep their cash. Now, increasingly, they have the job of picking projects. … That rather matches a growing concern about centralisation. …"
Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, responds:

The Herald, Friday 9 December 2011

The Scotsman, Friday 25 May 2012
"…Creative Scotland has succumbed to three particularly destructive, deadly sins that now beset government agencies in the UK. In the first place, its thinking is still hopelessly infected – 22 years after the lady’s political demise – by a kind of undead Thatcherism, a half-baked, hollowed-out, public-sector version of market theory that reduces the language of creativity to a series of flat-footed business school slogans, and imposes a crude ethic of sado-competition – 'this will make you sharper and more creative' – on areas of society where co-operation and mutual respect matter more. … This barrage of needless strategy-making, combined with the shift towards project-based funding, helps set the conditions for the third deadly sin, which is to set up a mechanism that is bound to increase the control of funding agencies over the agenda and repertoire of artists. … And finally, there are questions for our supposedly social-democratic SNP government, about why it continues to preside so complacently over such needlessly controlling systems of administration, and so much insidious market-inflected corrosion of the values for which it says it stands."
Which all rather brings us to:
Creative Scotland Magazine Tender - 08 June 2012
Creative Scotland is seeking a communications agency to assist in the development, delivery and project management of a new publication which will promote and celebrate Scotland’s creative community, and tell some of the stories from our artistic and cultural sectors.
1.2    All of our communications activity will be:
o   Positive and proactive, delivering tangible outcomes
o   Clear and consistent in terms of branding, message and tone
o   Focussed on delivering corporate corporate priorities
o   Transparent, open and accessible.
1.3    All of our communications activity will promote, support and build both the Creative Scotland brand and Scotlands creativity utilising the Creative Scotland brand model:
o   Essence: Investing in Scotlands creative future
o   Values: Passion, creativity, Boldness and Determination
o   Vision: Scotland is a place where creativity thrives
And positive messages about Scotlands creativity, namely:
o   Art and creativity are for everyone
o   We are good at it; our creative output is world renowned
o   Its part of who we are
o   It makes Scotland a better place to live.


"Damning statistics have also just emerged in Britain to haunt culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who in December 2010 announced a 'Year of Corporate Giving' that would have businesses and individuals queueing to plug the holes in government arts funding. With new initiatives to boost philanthropy, it was going to revive arts organisations and increase legacy-giving to the point where Britain would be the first place in the world where it was standard to leave 10% of one's wealth to charity. Or so the silly Hunt hoped. Twelve months on, the new Arts Index reveals that, since 2007, giving by business dropped 17%, with individual giving down 13%. These figures don't even include the 2011 totals, when it is clear things only got worse." 
(Private Eye, No. 1305, 13 Jan-26 Jan 2012) 

 "…But looking under the skin of these figures, what's the prognosis? In the three years measured by this first Arts Index, business contributions are down 17%. Private giving is down 13%. Public funding to the end of 2009/10 stayed level. Next year's index, to be published in April, will take us to 2011 and see a cut of 5% in Arts Council and 28% in local government funding in England. Some authorities, like Somerset, have cut their arts budget by 100%. …" 


THE UK ARTS INDEX - produced by the National Campaign for the Arts (Project Research Manager: Anatole Baboukhian, NCA), compiled by Audiences London in partnership with Audiences UK (Report Authors: Richard Turpin, Daniel Cowley, Anne Torreggiani), and Peer Reviewed by Orian Brook, School of Management, University of St Andrews. 

5. Business Contributions to the arts per person - Arts & Business: 
6. Trust and Foundation Contributions to the arts per person - Arts & Business: 
7. Individual Giving to the arts per person - Arts & Business: 
[Now at 'Arts & Business - Private investment in culture 2009/10: What next for the arts?' (pp12-14): ]

January 2012 - Diversity Films

"... Diversity Films has continually sought to build on the success of its activities, and invested heavily in developing the organisation’s potential as well as its core project, Starting Block. Despite great efforts in a turbulent economic climate, it has sadly had to withdraw its application for funding awarded by Creative Scotland to continue Starting Block, an ambitious nationwide programme aimed at broadening the reach of first-time filmmaking around Scotland.
The financial downturn has not been kind to the type of grassroots activity Diversity Films has offered in the last five years. In a sector already reliant on abundant voluntary hours, good will and precarious economies, the increased prevalence of cuts and reductions in investment has impacted strongly on Diversity Films, whose primary aim was to function as a socially engaged, innovative organisation offering free training and mentoring to new filmmaking talent in Scotland. ..."