ACE cuts impact

The BBC has spoken about how

More than one in 10 arts companies who lost all of their core Arts Council of England funding have shut down or are closing, according to research.

I have to say I am not surprised, this is very tough times for arts organisations,  with local councils having cut their funding, the ACE’s new NPO funding does not have as much money to give out and even the trusts and foundations don’t have as much money. And of course we are all scrambling to get the same pot of money.

So, what’s to be done? Firstly, let’s say that there is no blame on these organisations that have shut, it could be any of us, but what can we do?

Thinking about co-opetition is key, rather than seeing everyone out there as competition for the money. Where can we work together?

Is there an income stream that we can start to generate from the business sector? Yes, this may not be meeting the core values of the organisation, but if it provides an income that allows us to do the other work then is it worth considering?

Can we find new audiences for the work? Rather than all of us continually marketing to the same people can we start to look for non-theatre goers? Can some of us work together to approach new sectors, with an offering that directly meets their needs and requirements? Talawa theatre company and the Albany are great examples of this.

In addition arts companies have to think long-term and strategically, we cannot just work on a project to project basis, where if the funding doesn’t come through for the next project, that is the end of the company.

Let’s face it. There is no easy, quick fix to this problem and we are never going to go back to the golden years of getting the arts as well funded as they have been, but we don’t have to give up just yet, art must and will continue. ACE will do the best that it can, but we have to go out and make it happen for ourselves.

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