Welcome to our first weekly review for this year. Some of the stories are a little older than a week thanks to the holiday but still, let's get on with it.
More Not Less
Jude Kelly, the AD of the Southbank Centre in London, took to the BBC to say that the arts need more funding not less and that the government lacked any clear intention to support and develop the cultural sector.
Ms Kelly said;
"We're always saying the arts aren't a luxury, they're a necessity. Local authorities can't win those arguments sometimes, even to themselves."
To which the DCMS retorted in typically myopic fashion
"While there may be some who argue that arts and culture should be exempt from cuts altogether, this simply will not wash with members of the public who are aware of the need for public spending reductions across the public sector.
In other funding news the Guardian reported that China is about to spend £1.4Billion over the next ten years developing a region of their country into a massive creative hub for music.
"Beijing officials have announced plans to spend more than 10 years and £1.4bn turning the area into the "China Music Valley", a sprawling compound that will be home to recording studios, instrument makers, music schools, five-star hotels and an arena in the shape of a peach."
So much for austerity huh?
Power to the People
Over at Arts Professional the editor, Liz Hill, argues that any national campaign for the arts must include the public in the fight.
"If one existed, I would also love a charity that does for the arts what Liberty does for human rights. What would such an organisation look like? On the basis that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, let's start by applying the Liberty model. Its mission? How about "Working to protect creative and cultural expression, and promote access to the arts for everyone?"
Better than well paid "arts leaders" speaking, apparently, in defence of their own pay cheque at least.
The much maligned 'Rural Retreats' project operated by Dance East came to an end this year with ballet company directors and others getting together to, basically, state the bleedin' obvious.
The Stage reports Mark Baldwin, AD of Rambert, saying;
"It's important to create a culture within a company so that dancers can talk to you [artistic directors] whenever they want to."
Oh really! David Nixon, AD of Northern Ballet added;
"Dancers often used to be thought of as children and even now they are still sometimes called girls or boys rather than men and women or just dancers. I want to get to the point where dancers don't think of themselves as girls and boys... They need to think of themselves as adults."
Amazing to us, here in TheLab™, that any of these people get hired at all.