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2nd November 2012 Sara Lock

The real front line

By: Tim Wood


People working in the arts know all about the impending funding crisis, but Tim Wood, AMA board member and director of communications at The Place, believes only arts audiences can prevent the worst fears coming true.

People working in the arts know all about the impending funding crisis, but Tim Wood, AMA board member and director of communications at The Place, believes only arts audiences can prevent the worst fears coming true.

No one can say that we didn’t see this coming. Funding bodies have been open in their planning for a chastened future, with Arts Council England regularly briefing clients on what to expect after October’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The discussion has been amplified by the media, and The Guardian alone has published 36 articles tagged “arts funding” in the past month. Prominent supporters of the arts have been appearing on Newsnight, the Today programme and in the press, arguing for the success of the mixed funding model.

The conversation has re-echoed around social media spaces: 750 members have joined the online community at artsfunding.ning.com, there have been over 5,000 #artsfunding tweets. The counterarguments are also familiar: How important are the arts, when compared to, say, health care or defence? Why should the arts be supported, when other industries have to survive on their own? Does arts funding just subsidise the minority pastimes of a liberal, metropolitan elite? And, the most implacable argument, how can the government be expected to eradicate the overwhelming public spending deficit the country faces without cutting the arts?

| Published:2012

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