Monday, April 18, 2011

Love but no money

The Arts Council came to see us on Friday. Yes - they actually came to our Wood Green office, which is less shabby than once it was since Lance took the broom to it, but remains a world away from the hallowed halls of high policy. Very nice to see.

Pete Staves, who is now our ACE contact, was at pains to say that we very nearly got National Portfolio funding, and that he was very sorry we didn't! So the agenda of the meeting was largely about how we can best survive, with their help in whatever way it comes, until the next round of NP bids in about three years' time (which is also, rather frighteningly, when our Esmee funds run out). One of the key new areas which may help us build on the old round of GFA applications is the new "Strategic Funds". These replace the old managed funds, which used to sit in various ACE pockets and got allocated at will - now they will be open to application, which seems to me a positive step. Less positive is what some of them are for... there's one to match philanthropic donations / business sponsorship, on the old A&B model. On the other hand, there are some around Audience Development and Touring which could be very useful. We'll have to see. It's very early days for this.... but we felt encouraged.

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