May we live in interesting times #artsfunding

13 May

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Having woken up to the news that the DCMS has been told to prepare for at least a ??66m cut – I thought I would reflect on where we have got to, and what we are up to at the moment…and what we as a company at Pilot Theatre are doing.??But let’s get one thing straight. Pilot Theatre, the company for which I work, would not exist, if it had not had the continued support from the Arts Council over the years. In 2001, as a result of the theatre review we received an increase in our funding which has enabled us to grow and develop our work. Last year alone we created over 250 live performances for our audiences, and employed over 60 people. We are still doing this…

??As part of our Platform 11 Festival here in York we are about to open 3 new shows and have 2 new Youth Theatre shows performed ??in York Theatre Royal.??The whole festival is here??http://www.pilot-theatre.com/redesign/default.asp?idno=17579

We are about to open Catcher – tonight at York Theatre Royal, where we are based. This is a new play by Richard Hurford, and has been directed by Suzann McLean. Her blog about the show is here??http://catcher.posterous.com/
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Katie Posner, Pilot’s Associate Director is directing a new show called Jack and the Clones of Chaos – This is part of our EU project Platform 11+ ??- which creates new work for younger audiences aged 11 upwards ??across 12 countries in the EU. This will be shown at our meeting this year in Palmela, Portugal.??Her blog is here too??http://katieposner.posterous.com/
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The show I directed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, – W.C School – Made in Argentina is arriving here in York next week – Performed in Spanish and English, and this is my blog for the whole project and the work we did to create the show. The picture is us rehearsing on Skype 7,000 miles apart because??
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Our Producer, Amanda Smith is in Croatia on an EU Cultural Leadership course as part of our CLP programme.??Her Blog is here??http://platform11plus.posterous.com/
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As well as all this activity we are preparing for our 3rd Annual Arts/Technology Conference – Shift Happens which takes place in York on July 5/6 this year. Our Projects co-ordinator, Katherine Jewkes is heading this up and you can find out about the event here??http://shift-happens.co.uk

I am also preparing to start casting for a 20 week National tour of Romeo and Juliet which kicks off in September – so busy and interesting times.
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OK – so apart from a all the activity I wanted to share with you how much we have grown as an organisation, offering opportunities to new and emerging artists, creating work for new and emerging audiences, and above all by constantly evolving and innovating – because Shift really does Happen.??What I am mindful of is the uncertain waters we are now heading with regard to arts funding, and why for many people this is not a big priority given the current economic climate. But I want to give you some figures for thought that you may wish to pass on.
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Arts funding spend amounts to 7pence out of every ??100.00 of public spending
The VAT earned back to the Government from London theatre going is greater than the entire Arts Council Theatre subsidy for the whole country
This is just London theatre – so the VAT from the whole country? from not just tickets too? is colossal.
The Creative Industries are the growing sector in this country – at the moment – employing people, training people and providing participation and engagement.
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We need as a sector to open up our networks and channels of support and network creatively with vision
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follow the conversations on Twitter here by following @pilot_theatre or @marcusromer and let us know what you think

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