Jazz: the Cinderella of arts funding.The Daily Telegraph 17 July 2014.

In the Daily Telegraph on the 17th July 2014 Ivan Hewett wrote an interesting analysis on funding of jazz by the Arts Council. A very useful article but the bigger picture required a little more attention which I have set out below.

The Arts Council had a real opportunity in 2012/15 to shape the funding of jazz in the UK and provide proper levels of support. The Arts Council failed to deliver then and again this time. To take this in context with the bigger picture let’s look at the recent funding round. English National Opera received a cut of £5 million from £17 million to £12 million. However it would appear that the funding of English National Opera was a done deal as ENO was given an inducement of £7.6 million to “help in the transition of its business plan”. Did the Arts Council of England offer this kind of help to the 58 organisations who lost their funding?

Arts Council England before any thought of formulating a flawed funding framework should have asked and provided the answers to these fundamental questions for the arts in England.Where are we now? Where do we want to be?The failure to answer these questions and to address the flaws in equitable provision for music and jazz in particular the Arts Council has again regrettably missed another chance to ensure that music provision in England was balanced, equitably with a coherent communal direction. In fact the Arts Council appears to be run like a hedge fund – a rag bag “portfolio” of arts organisations replete with the slogan “Great Art for Everyone”.But no coherent policy for music or the other art forms. Whatever next, Anne Summers – “Great Sex for Everyone”, or the Cooperative Funeral Care – “Great Funerals for Everyone”. Even more risible is the fact that they have dumped the notion of specialist art form administrators and lumbered the staff with the title “relationship managers”, a term adopted from the high street banks.

How many more times is the Arts Council going to be allowed to fail jazz and the wider music constituency

Attached documents (click to download)

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