I don’t know who you are, but you should be ashamed of yourself for making personal comments about our journalist Christy Romer, whose private life has nothing whatsoever to do with this article. If you have something to say, stand up and be counted – don’t hide behind anonymity to fling out your criticisms and assertions. In fact Christy’s article passes no comment whatsoever on the quality of Emma Rice’s work. Indeed, he says that in words of one syllable: “This has nothing to do with the art, and everything to do with the Arts Council.”
What he does is express a widely held view that the arts funding system in England favours those who have a good relationship with the Arts Council. It’s a sad fact of the arts sector that few are willing to speak out about this, and thereby risk their own funding to prove that point. Only those who do not ‘take the Arts Council’s shilling’ – as you put it – feel confident enough to speak out. The Arts Council doesn’t help itself in this respect – it was only three years ago that we reported its plans to introduce contractual terms for NPOs that would bring sanctions against anyone saying anything that might damage its reputation https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/arts-council-backs-down-over-gagging-clause . After AP pointed this out, the offending clause was removed. That’s the value of independent journalism.
And for the record, ArtsProfessional paid for Christy’s journalism training and qualifications, so you can rest easy that no public money was used to help train this young person to seek truth and speak out boldly when public bodies need to be held to account.
I have been doing some analysis of the figures that the Mayor's office is quoting. I think you might find them interesting . See my blog at http://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/blog/lies-damned-lies-and-arts-funding-statistics
ACE contacted AP on 30/01/2014 in connection with Article 19's feature entitled 'Dark Money' http://www.article19.co.uk/theevilimp/dark_money.php AP had flagged this article to our readers as a 'good read' using a verbatim section quoted from the piece, which included the statement that ACE had "pre-emptively decline[d] a Freedom of Information request for the data." A previous email exchange between AP and ACE had implied that ACE would decline the Freedom of Information request in question, but at that time it had not actually been declined (and indeed, the information was subsequently provided). When ACE asked us to change the words on our website, we told ACE: "In fact those were not our words, so to have them removed you need to contact the author at Article 19. We are simply quoting them. Until such time as you have resolved this with the author, we’ve taken that paragraph off our website." We were unaware that no such request was ever made of Article 19.
And my point, of course, is that for 'us', they are arts-related, but for 'them' (and I was one of 'them') they are just 'gigs' and 'cinema'. The reason the Dunlop ad was so successful at raising the company's profile was because it identified some things the public were very familiar with, and showed what life would be like without the company behind them. Surely there's a parallel here in the arts...
Thanks for this comment - it's always difficult to know how far to edit a 'techie' piece. Some readers will find it a bit difficult to grasp all the detail in John's article (and I include myself in that!) but other readers work with their organisations' websites all the time and would find it condescending if we were to interpret it for less techie readers. It's a fine judgement call - maybe we misjudged this one. Hopefully everyone got the general gist - which I thought was very thought-provoking.