Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sign of the Times

As I sit here hoping this won't be the 10th day of snow, and wondering if this time I might be able to clear the steps to the studio without tumbling down two flights, more cheerful news come in the form of an e-mail. Here it is, edited where appropriate:

"I .... have unfortunately been tasked with contacting you with regards to the exhibition you had been discussing with [us] for 2012. As you will no doubt have heard, the Government is intending to make significant cuts to the amount of money it gives to local authorities. In the case of [the] Borough Council, this means that over the next four years spending has to reduce by £22 million from a budget of £107 million. Unfortunately in order to reach these target savings the Council are proposing to withdraw the subsidy from the Arts Centre.

At this stage whilst work is ongoing with partners to identify alternative options to closure, if these new approaches are unsuccessful then unfortunately the Arts Centre will have to close. Due to this uncertainty whilst we will continue to host exhibitions as programmed until July-August 2011, we can not guarantee exhibitions beyond this time and feel it is prudent to cancel all exhibitions beyond July 31 2011."


Pam said...

Oh Harry, I am sorry to read this. What has it come to that the country can't afford art any more?

harry bell said...

If only I believed that the country can't afford it, but I don't. Much of this "saving" is being driven by ideology. I feel terribly sorry for the *hundreds* of people who use that Art Centre every day.

Roy said...

Miserable news but not totally unexpected I guess. It's a pity there isn't an art olympics or art world cup that Government Ministers could throw money at. No, I don't really mean that - it would be a disaster. But obviously we could afford it as a country.


harry bell said...

"Art competitions formed part of the modern Olympic Games during its early years, from 1912 to 1952"