I’m happy, but not surprised, that Peter Maxwell Davies is speaking out again on the state of arts and art funding in Britain in the Telegraph. He has long since reached that place in his professional life many of us are looking for- the place where you are famous enough, respected enough, powerful enough and old enough that you can actual say what you mean in public.
On the other hand, I was pretty surprised and impressed to see in the same article and actual arts administrator (sorry guys) speaking his mind as well. I quote-
“Peter Hewitt, the chief executive of Arts Council England, has warned that arts groups could withdraw their support from the 2012 Olympic Games if the Government does not increase funding….
“Anything less and the arts sector may, sadly, have no choice but to tell the Government that it is simply not able to deliver a large proportion of the much-vaunted cultural Olympics.”
He claims the Arts Council is being asked to help pay for regional Olympic project co-ordinators and spend £5 million on a new trust for cultural schemes linked to the games, despite losing out on lottery money to the games, but may not be able to afford to do so.
Mr Hewitt said: “Recent events and the impact on our funding programmes mean that we are now having to consider these decisions carefully. After all, what is the point of having people at local level develop projects when the money to realise them has gone?”
It’s well said, but more power to him for saying it.