CriticalDance Forum

Arts funding in Scotland
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Mar 17, 2002 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Arts funding in Scotland

Arts council appoints chief
By Mike Wade in The Scotsman

THE Scottish Arts Council last night appointed Graham Berry as its new director.

After a recruitment process which has lasted nearly four months, Mr Berry, the internal candidate and acting director, was selected ahead of over 200 rivals screened by a recruitment consultancy.

His elevation to a permanent position underscores a new sense of stability at an organisation which endured a traumatic time immediately prior to the departure of Mr Berry’s predecessor, Tessa Jackson.

In that period, the organisation was caught up in the furore over the artistic direction of Scottish Ballet, and there were reports of a personality clash between Ms Jackson and the SAC’s chairman, James Boyle.

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A general article, but Scottish Ballet gets a mention:

Scottish arts suffer as big business pulls plug on cash
Theatre companies are forced to close as businesses cut sponsorship for Scots arts ... and it's getting worse. By Juliette Garside in The Sunday Herald:

According to Arts & Business the Bank of Scotland remains the biggest supporter of Scottish arts companies. BoS spokesman Alastair Ross says it has spent over £4m a year on arts, sport and the environment for the last two years, and will do so again in 2002. It is still ploughing money into Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, and dozens of other smaller events and projects.

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<small>[ 13 June 2004, 07:31 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jan 23, 2003 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

James Boyle, chairman of the Scottish Arts Council fights for more money for the Arts in Scotland. Here is a report of his speech and a leading article both from The Herald:


Dramatic plea for the arts
SAC chairman embarks on high-risk strategy. From The Herald (Glasgow)

ASK any Scot what brought the official opening of the Scottish Parliament to life and they will speak not of politics but of the arts. Sheena Wellington's rendition of A Man's A Man, James MacMillan's fanfares, Ian Crichton Smith's poetry: all told of who we were as a nation, who we are, and what we aspire to be. The arts, long at the forefront of the devolution movement, deserved their time in the spotlight. It did not last long. Three years later, Scotland's arts community claims to be approaching penury. Its unhappiness and frustration are laid bare today by James Boyle, chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, in an exclusive interview with The Herald. According to Mr Boyle, the executive's underfunding of the arts betrays ministers' lack of vision, is stifling potential, and is steering the sector towards disaster. He may be an arts administrator, but Mr Boyle knows how to turn in an electrifying performance when it matters. How much, however, do the arts matter?

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Culture of indifference will cripple arts
Council chairman attacks failure to prioritise funding, writes PHIL MILLER for The Herald (Glasgow)

JAMES Boyle, the chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, has decided to speak out against the Scottish Executive's lack of interest in funding the arts, at least to the level of his expectations.

It is a rare public move made "in sorrow, more than in anger", he said yesterday. Mr Boyle, who gained his reputation as a canny and often controversial operator as both head of BBC Radio Scotland and controller of Radio 4, has been in the SAC post for 18 months.

For that time, he has been urging the executive to back its talk of investment in the arts, and the commitment to Scotland's culture as expressed in the National Cultural Strategy, with serious money.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jan 28, 2003 5:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Full houses belie crisis in Scottish theatres
By Kirsty Scott for The Guardian

You would be hard-pressed to find a ticket to see Siobhan Redmond triumph in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre this month. The show has been a virtual sellout with thousands of theatregoers storming the box office for the last few remaining seats.
But the full houses and rapturous reviews for the stage production of Muriel Spark's famous work mask troubled times for Scottish theatre and a growing crisis in the Scottish arts.

Devolution was supposed to herald a golden age for the arts in Scotland, but there has been no cultural renaissance. Plans for a Scottish national theatre have stalled, numerous arts organisations are being forced to cut their creative output to make ends meet, and there are fears of a talent drain to England, where regional theatre is benefiting from £25m worth of government funding.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jan 29, 2003 3:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Four articles about the latest Scottish Arts Council allocations:


Funding shortfall means tough choices
By Mike Wade for The Scotsman

IF THE health of the nation is defined by the state of its great performing arts institutions, Scotland is on the critical list.

Despite some amazing feats of accounting trickery, the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) yesterday introduced a budget which postponed plans for a national theatre, cut its contribution to Scottish Opera and offered increases to Scottish Ballet and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra which were less than the rate of inflation.

True, as an SAC budget of £60 million was carved up, there were beneficiaries and some theatres, galleries and literary organisations secured large increases in funding.

However, the process of distributing its budget - £38 million in Executive grant and the remainder in lottery funds - proved a painful business for SAC members meeting at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.

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Boyle calls for public inquiry into arts funding
By MIKE WADE for The Scotsman

THE chairman of the Scottish Arts Council has called for a public inquiry to stave off financial catastrophe in the arts and to nurture the sector for future generations.

Endorsing a proposal for a "McCrone of the arts", James Boyle said: "If we don’t get the change we need in the next financial settlement, we will live to rue the day."

Mr Boyle was speaking at an SAC meeting in Edinburgh, where its budget proposals made plain the extent of the financial crisis in the sector.

As widely predicted, the plan for a national theatre of Scotland was postponed and Graham Berry, the SAC director, said the appointment of a chairman of its board was unlikely this year.

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Cuts mean fewer nights at the opera
Company warns that real-term reduction will affect productions, writes PHIL MILLER for The Herald (Glasgow)

SCOTTISH Opera is likely to face cuts in its production programme following the latest annual budget announcement by the Scottish Arts Council.

The opera company, which has had a number of financial crises in recent years, said it was "dismayed" last night to receive, in real terms, a budget cut and it is expected that it will have to cut the number of operas it has planned.

All three of the other national arts companies, and the National Theatre plan, also emerged as cultural casualties in the new budget announced yesterday. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra received small funding increases.

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A hard look at arts funding
Review might help Executive decide its priorities. Leading article in the Herald (Glasgow)

ROYAL commissions, it is said, are set up in haste to report at leisure. Scotland's arts community is not asking for anything as grand as a commission with a regal imprimatur, but it does believe the time is ripe for a serious, independent investigation into the way the arts are funded. The idea was floated yesterday by Ann Matheson, chairwoman of the Scottish Arts Council's literature committee. It received the support of James Boyle, the SAC's chairman, and Graham Berry, the SAC director responsible for disbursing public funds to Scotland's arts companies. Mr Berry's was a thankless task, given that the SAC had been handed a standstill budget by the Scottish Executive. There were very few winners but plenty of losers in yesterday's funding round. Perhaps the biggest casualty was the Scottish national theatre, officially consigned to cold storage (at best) when the £1m in start-up funding was distributed among the existing theatre companies to keep them going.

Scroll down to second half:

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<small>[ 29 January 2003, 04:42 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Feb 02, 2003 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Don't starve the arts
A cultural desert in a devolved Scotland would be a tragedy. By Ruaridh Nicoll for The Observer.

For such a tenacious breed, our creation of genius can be tenuous.
Lord Byron, for example, might never have existed but for an exuberant performance of Thomas Southerne's The Fatal Marriage at an Edinburgh theatre in 1784. A poor rendition and, well, affections might have run to waste, as he later put it. Such chance makes the business of encouraging the arts a little terrifying.

The story is told in Mary Cosh's wonderful, gossipy Edinburgh: The Golden Age . Sarah Siddons was playing her heart out as Isabella, a woman forced into marriage when she thinks the love of her life, 'Biron', has been killed in battle. In the audience was Miss Gordon of Gight, an heiress from Aberdeen, who was so affected that she had to be "carried screaming from her box, shouting hysterically for 'her Biron'."

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Defiant Watson's national theatre pledge
By MIKE WADE for The Scotsman

SCOTLAND’S culture minister last night hit back at his critics in the arts community, and put his reputation on the line by insisting that the Scottish Executive’s pledge to create a national theatre would be honoured.

A combative Lord Watson said he hoped to be in office to see the national theatre’s first productions - but offered little comfort to those who are demanding extra funding for the arts.

Over recent weeks, the minister has been lambasted for his funding priorities - notably by the Scottish Arts Council chairman, James Boyle.

However, less than two weeks after the SAC complained about having to cope with a standstill budget of £60 million (comprising £38 million from the Executive and the remainder in lottery funds), Lord Watson made clear that there could be no immediate cash injection to help the arts.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Mar 05, 2003 2:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Steps to find more cash
By Kelly Apter for The Scotsman

Dance and money have never been great bedfellows. Like sportsmen, dancers endure years of training followed by woefully short careers; but try finding a dancer who earns even a quarter of David Beckham’s annual salary. Similarly, dance companies often find themselves shortchanged at funding time, playing second fiddle to orchestras and theatre groups. Admittedly, they attract smaller audiences, but one begets the other - you can’t fill the Festival Theatre on a shoestring budget. "It’s a chicken and egg situation," says the Scottish Arts Council’s Head of Dance, Cindy Sughrue. "If the work is there and exciting, then that makes a good case for investment. But until we get that pattern of regular exciting work hitting the stage, it’s hard to argue for more resources."

If anyone can argue the dance world’s cause, however, it’s Sughrue. For years, dance companies have pulled their belts tighter than their leotards, but the arrival of Sughrue has heralded a new era at the SAC. Launching its five-year Dance Strategy in 2000, Sughrue promised more support, more promotion and, crucially, more money for dance-makers across the country.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Mar 30, 2003 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Lib Dems pledge to examine arts funding
By Senay Boztas for The Times

THE future of the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) is to be challenged by the Liberal Democrats when the party unveils its Scottish election manifesto later this week.
The Liberal Democrats will call for an independent review of the Scottish executive’s direct funding of the country’s leading festivals and arts bodies, after years of financial crises and direct bail-outs.

This year the SAC’s funding has been frozen and concerns have been raised about whether it may be abolished. In a review of Scottish Screen, the film agency, the Scottish culture department discussed merging it with the SAC in a body to be called Creative Scotland.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Apr 10, 2003 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Money to burn for higher arts
A short letter from The Evening News (Edinburgh)

IT seems the Council can find an extra £800,000 when the International Festival snaps its fingers for the money, to subsidise the already well-off middle classes who enjoy its Italian operas and elitist ballet (News, April 5).

This comes only weeks after the council pulled the rug out from under the grassroots Beltane Fire Festival.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon May 26, 2003 5:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Culture minister urged to review funding
By MIKE WADE for The Scotsman

CULTURE minister Frank McAveety is facing calls to bring forward an urgent review of funding to save some of Scotland’s leading performing arts companies.

Senior figures within the culture sector are privately warning that without a substantial cash injection in the autumn, national companies and some of the country’s best-loved theatres will be forced to cut productions and could even face the prospect of closure.

"Inevitably you come to a point where certain organisations - including the national companies - are forced to cut back on the number of productions," said one senior figure.

"But if they are forced into that situation too often, there comes a point when the whole thing isn’t viable any more."

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Public to have a voice in future funding of the arts
By PHIL MILLER for The Herald (Glasgow)

THE Scottish public is to be asked for its views on arts and culture in a series of forums.

The consultation by the Scottish Arts Council could also see people being asked to leave their opinions in video diary booths.

Graham Berry, the director of the SAC, which distributes around £60m in funding a year, is to launch the forums as another stage in his reorganisation of the quango, which is on the verge of a major review of its form and function by the executive and Frank McAveety, the new arts minister.

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Author:  Joanne [ Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Gloomy report on arts funding in Scotland. From the Guardian.

After 300 years under the English yoke, devolution was supposed to bring a new dawn for Scottish culture. But for the arts, home rule has so far been a bitter disappointment and for some a disaster

Author:  Joanne [ Thu Sep 11, 2003 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Article on funding from The Scotsman.

FUNDING of the national performing companies has long been a difficult issue, grasped with mixed success by various ministers and bureaucrats.

Clearly, the current system is unsatisfactory. A new system must be developed that will provide a stable foundation for funding the arts, one that removes the uncertainty for audiences, employees and taxpayers.

The designation of the national companies - currently Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra - presupposes that they have a right to exist, due to a perceived nation-wide demand for their work.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Sep 14, 2003 3:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

The art of politics
By Dani Garavelli for Scotland on Sunday

JAMES Boyle, the chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, is, he admits, bouncing around like an overexcited schoolboy.

The man who just eight months ago dismissed the Scottish Executive’s arts policy as "crackers" can scarcely contain his glee at the announcement that a national theatre for Scotland is about to become a reality.

"Everyone here is walking around with a great big smile on their face," he says. "This is £1m more than we even expected. There is a pattern emerging now. Earlier this year, we were given £17m for free music tuition in schools, and now this.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arts funding in Scotland

Solve your crises or face reform, national arts companies told
By PHIL MILLER for The Herald

SCOTLAND'S national arts companies will have to fulfil three criteria or be reformed in the shake-up planned by Frank McAveety, the minister for culture, his expert adviser said yesterday.
In his first major interview since taking up the role six weeks ago, Brian Beattie said the Scottish Executive wanted to "take on" the perennial funding problems of the national companies, and Scottish Opera in particular.

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The arts under scrutiny
It is simply a question of artistic excellence. Editorial from The Herald

What, exactly, are Scotland's four national arts companies for? It is not a new question, but Bryan Beattie, the first expert adviser to a culture minister in Scotland, has guaranteed, deliberately or otherwise, that it has star billing in the arts sector and beyond.
Mr Beattie, the eyes and ears – and much more – of Frank McAveety, the tourism, sport, and culture minister, on the arts scene has set out his ideas of what the national companies should be about.

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