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Welcome dear readers to our weekly roundup of stories from the wide world of culture some all or none of which might have something to do with dance. So spin the wheel and take your chances.
What with all the doom and gloom these days about cuts, criminals and terrorism it's time for a little hope, a little bit of inspiration.
The BBC World Service programme "Outlook" featured the story of one Adrianne Haslet-Davis a ballroom dancer from Boston in the United States. Ms Haslet-Davis lost part of her leg in the bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon a just a few weeks ago. She took time out from recovery/life to join the BBC show to tell her story.
Despite her injuries Ms Haslet-Davis is keen to return to dancing and explains how she will be making an appearance on the US network television show "Dancing with the Stars" later in the year.
Also joining her on the programme, from Brighton in the UK, was one Welly O'Brien. Ms O'Brien also lost one of her legs in an accident while travelling in India 20 years ago but went on to become a professional dancer touring with Candoco Dance Company for several years.
Unlike most BBC output the interviews with the two dancers are fairly extensive and in-depth. The interview begins right at the start of the show.
Less Guns More Painting.
Previous story not inspiring enough for you? Then let's move to the United States and NBC news who reported this week on a school in Roxbury Massachusetts that turned failure into success using the arts.
Gun control and school security was thrown into sharp focus in the United States following the school shooting at Sandyhook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut late last year.
The National Rifle Association (also know as Bat Sh*t Crazy Incorporated) put forward a plan for armed guards, bullet proof glass and guns for teachers as a way to stop the madness. Banning the actual guns, as far as the NRA (BSCI) was concerned was out of the question.
School principal Andrew Bott had other ideas though when he took over the job at Orchard Gardens Elementary School. Following huge problems over many years the school and its students had been consistently failing and falling behind on test scores.
Mr Bott decided to fire all the security guards and dismantle the security infrastructure and instead spend all that money on arts programmes for the students, with dramatic positive effects.
"A lot of my colleagues really questioned the decision," he said. "A lot of people actually would say to me, 'You realize that Orchard Gardens is a career killer? You know, you don't want to go to Orchard Gardens.'"
But now, three years later, the school is almost unrecognizable. Brightly colored paintings, essays of achievement, and motivational posters line the halls. The dance studio has been resurrected, along with the band room, and an artists' studio.
Remember this story the next time your in a discussion with a politician about the billions spent on "security" vs the pittance spent on the arts.
Speaking of Bat Sh*t Crazy
The Guardian reports that a somewhat controversial version of the Wagner Opera 'Tannhäuser' at the Rheinoper in Düsseldorf has been cancelled because the "Nazi themed" opera managed to offend and disgust almost everybody who saw it. Some people actually needed medical treatment after watching the show.
"The production, which opened last Saturday and was expected to be one of the highlights of the celebrations for the bicentenary of Wagner's birth later this month, has a Nazi storyline, and includes scenes of people dying in gas chambers, being shot and raped, and of members of a family having their heads shaved before their execution."
Wagner was much admired by Adolf Hitler although that wasn't really Mr Wagner's fault since he died in 1883 (Hitler was born in 1889) although he was thought be more than a little antisemitic. Given the history of the composer it's not too difficult to understand why many people would get upset and more than a little bit outraged over the content.
The opera's director Burkhard C Kosminski refused to change any of the content for "artistic reasons" or because he's a massive, attention seeking muppet. Take your pick.
The Week in Tweets
In every generation there is a chosen one RT @sanj0yr0y: launch date for my website Mon 20 May 2013. 10th anniversary of last Buffy episode— Tim Wood (@timcwood) May 6, 2013
Here in TheLab™ we are not sure what's more distressing. The fact that a critic is launching a website or the fact that Tim Wood, press flack from ThePlace, chose to join in on the painful Buffy The Vampire Slayer themed promo.
Let's get one thing straight. Buffy The Vampire Saved World (a lot apparently! Ed!), these two on the other make the world wish she had failed. Now that's comedy!
Have a nice weekend.
Welcome dear readers to our weekly round up of news from the wide world of culture. Hard news is hard to find, seriously, take a look at the arts on Twitter if you don't believe us, but here's what we have.
The Female Choreographer's Collective got things underway with an "experiment" in London late last month at the Laban Theatre. They showed six pieces of work and refused to tell the audience who choreographed what to see if people could tell the difference between work created by men and work created by women.
Some folks reacted with outright, and somewhat ham fisted, hostility toward the whole thing and the most amazing thing about that? ..... It wasn't us!
At the time of writing the results are not yet in but if you want to join the
fight discussion then you can do just that via the FCC's website. Sign up for an account and get involved in the debate about why there is so much rampant sexism in the wacky world of dance. They may frame the discussion with more subtlety mind you.
If you want to know more about the FCC then look no further than our interview with the founders Holly Noble and Jane Coulson.
Delores Takes Umbridge
The current Secretary of State for Culture, Maria Miller, who bares more than a passing resemblance to Delores Umbridge from the Harry Potter movies, was taken out to the woodshed this week by Scotsman writer Tiffany Jenkins.
Ms Miller gave a speech somewhere or other and started singing the coalition government's tune about "difficult times", "austerity", "clown cars", "broken spreadsheets" and "inbred stupidity". We might be making some of that up.
Clown cars aside, Ms Miller was trying to make the point that the arts needs to make "economic" sense not "artistic" sense because, in the world at large, unless you can sell something for money then it's not actually worth anything at all apparently.
"Miller forcefully argued that the arts sector must make the case for public funding in the age of austerity by focusing on the economic - not artistic - value of culture. She told arts executives that they need to "hammer home the value of culture to our economy". And in case anyone missed the point, she underlined: "Culture does not simply have a role to play in bringing about a return to growth ... rather, it should be central to these efforts."
This is the first policy speech the Minister has given since she took over the job from Jeremy Hunt months ago. Ms Jenkins retorted;
"If we were to nurture only that which contributed to the economy it is likely that the safe, the tried and the tested would be funded. It is likely that the new, the risky and experimental would be avoided because the question would not be is it interesting, or good, but what is the expected return?"
As if to prove the point the BBC announced a 42 season pickup for Doctor Who, possibly the worst thing in the world ever and not just on television!
This Week in Tweets
note to the wacky world of dance: it's not our job to say "you're awesome" and then bat our eyelids and giggle......— Article19 (@Article19) May 2, 2013
We sent out that message in response to a conversation we had with the press office at Rambert Dance Company concerning their catastrophically bad videos on The Space. You can read more about that here.
Questions we had asked them went unanswered. Such is their professionalism, they chose the "la la la la we are not listening to you" approach.
They also took offence at out persistent attempts to get them to explain why an arts organisation wasn't open to a free exchange of ideas about their work and their use of public money to create that work.
If every journalist just gave up when somebody said "we have nothing to say" the papers would be empty, TV news would be empty, everything would be empty.
So deal with it!
Have a nice weekend.
Welcome dear readers to our weekly round-up of the news from the wide world of culture where most of the stories, for reasons unknown, never seem to be about dance. Onward however.
The Scottish folk among you may or may not be familiar with the debacle that is Creative Scotland. What used to be know as the Scottish Arts Council (think ACE in a kilt) was changed into something else, just because, and the art folk in Scotland didn't like the idea of changing something "just because" and they kicked up a bit of ruckus about it.
Scholars of both Scottish and English history will know that when the tartan folk kick up a fuss, you and the whole world are gonna know about it.
After the dust had settled there were many casualties and one of them was Andrew Dixon the Chief Executive of the newly formed arts funding body.
The Scotsman newspaper reports that an email released to The Herald newspaper (stay with us on this), written by Andrew Dixon, says that Mr Dixon feared he was the victim of a subversive plot that opposed the creation of Creative Scotland
and they thought the moon landings were a fraud.
"Dixon said in the email: "I was warned in the press on my appointment of 'back biting' arts community and a previous 'loss of trust' through the birth of Creative Scotland but what you can see here, and will get from Ewan Brown [former chairman of Creative Scotland's transition board] is the history of over 400 artists, many of them on the list yesterday who fundamentally opposed the creation of Creative Scotland."
Here in TheLab™ we think people didn't like Creative Scotland because it was a bit of a basket case and wanted to make all funding project funding. It was also a complete basket case.
But, you live and learn.
You're Covered in Bees
This week saw the launch of the Culture Hive by the Arts Marketing Association. The "Hive" is some sort of resource that will give the folks in arts marketing something to do when they are not updating their Facebook page, or whatever.
Anyway, the launch event played host to the most boring presentation this and every other universe has ever seen (including, and we are not making this up, the world's first demonstration of an Empathy Graph!)
The website itself did throw up an interesting bit of information courtesy of Kingsley Jayasekera Director of Communications and Digital Strategy at Sadler's Well in London.
First of all, totally made up job title or what? Secondly he has a piece of writing on this website that "reveals" how The Wells uses "digital" technology for something or other and how awesome their website is.
"This approach, plus a strict discipline over email use (just two emails per month; no, you can't approve our copy; no, we won't send out a solus email about your dying show at another venue) created a decent playing field where digital could work at its best."
Considering the whole purpose of the website is to help other people out what Mr Jayasekera is basically saying is this.
"If your show is dying at some other venue then **** *** because we aint ******* helping you out *** ******* ****".
This is why dance is doing so well in the wider world because heavily subsidised venues like Sadler's **** *** Wells and their over paid staff are more than happy to help other people out. By telling them to go **** themselves apparently.
Ironically, The Wells' website is a dark, gloomy, boring mess and the venue itself would be much improved aesthetically if it were reduced to rubble by a massive Transformers™ attack. But we digress.
The Week in Tweets
The above mentioned launch conference was broadcast live on the internet and that gave our very own EvilImp™ the chance to do one of his famous/notorious live tweeting sessions.
Over at the Arts Marketing Association they did a Storify of the CultureHive hashtag but neglected to include any of TheImp™'s musings.
To correct this airbrushing of history read our own highlights below.
Have a nice weekend.
Welcome dear readers to our weekly roundup of news some, none or all of which may or may not be connected to the wide world of dance.
Blowing Off Steam
The BBC reports that an Arts Council funded project to blow hot, wet air into the atmosphere has been shelved because it was either completely stupid or totally impossible or perhaps both.
We know what you're thinking, the project had something to do with Alan Davey, ACE's CEO, standing on the fourth plinth in London and giving a speech but we wouldn't make a joke that is so obvious!
Artist Anthony McCall had designed a work called "Column" that was going to blow a column of steam into the air so people could look at it and go; "hey, look at that big column of steam" before going about their day.
The project apparently ran into problems because the Civil Aviation Authority had some concerns that massive columns of hot steam being blown into the atmosphere might cause planes to crash or at least make them very very clean on route to their final destination.
No word on whether or not the CAA thought the whole sting was "completely stupid".
ACE takes a hit because they thought it was a good idea to spend £535,000 on this but were apparently non-plussed that the project is never going to happen.
"It is a project that was visionary and testing new approaches and new technical equipment. We did monitor that appropriately along the way but in the end it wasn't able to deliver the vision of the artist."
Said a man from ACE who is apparently more stupid than the people who think gay marriage causes hurricanes.
If you want to see a demo of "column" then just go into your kitchen and turn the kettle on and pretend you're a tiny little person.
More Storms Brewing
The never-ending debacle of the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton continues with the revelation that people who are owed money by the theatre will not be getting paid.
People in the arts not getting paid? What else is new?
The BBC reports that £80,000 is owed to people who booked tickets for shows that will not be going ahead, what with the theatre being shut down and all.
Additionally, the companies that were set to perform at the venue are owed a collective £130,000 from lost fees and ticket sales.
"Jill Venn, chairman of the [Taunton Amateur Operatic Society], said: "I would say I was fairly angry about it all. To take £12,000 worth of advance ticket sales, our shows cost us well over £30,000 to put on, it's a lot of money, it's a huge chunk."
"Fairly angry" about losing £12,000? If we, here in TheLab™, were owed £12,000 we would be a bit more than "fairly angry" about it. If fact we would probably get very Reservoir Dogs about the whole situation or at the very least angrier than a Care Bear caught in a washing machine on spin cycle!
Perhaps that sums up the arts in general in this weird little country of ours.
Somebody does you wrong, you get "fairly angry" about it then have a cup of tea, a nice lie down and do a Bargain Hunters marathon on DVD. Problem solved.
This Week In Tweets
Our video of Northern School of Contemporary Dance rose rapidly to the top of our internal charts thanks, in part, to the students and staff and lots of others sharing the link to the video across social media.
If this happened for all the stuff we published then we fell sure the world would be a happier place. Sharing is good, so do it people!
Have a great weekend.
Welcome to our weekly take on some, all or none of the news covering the wide world of dance, the arts and culture that you may or may not be completely uninterested in.
Sometimes, here in TheLab™, we get the feeling that we're fighting the good fight all on our own, especially when it comes to the Big Bad (Arts Council England). On occasion though somebody comes out of the woodwork and puts the boot in where it desperately needs to be put.
Step forward David Lister, journo for The Independent, taking a hefty swing at ACE and their new Chairman Peter Bazalgette. When covering the anointed ones debut speech in front of a not at all hostile audience in London Mr Lister says;
"But let us not completely ignore such an important event. My appetite for the lecture was whetted by the fact that, only a few days before, a story broke in the press of how the Council, while cutting grants to hard-pressed arts organisations, was giving some of its own staff taking redundancy six-month paid sabbaticals to sweeten the pill. I'd have been interested to learn how Mr Bazalgette defended such a seemingly outrageous use of public money. But curiously he failed even to mention it."
He goes on to call out ACE for being too secretive, completely inept and a little bit corrupt. They also may be in league with the devil, but that's just our opinion.
More of this we say, more more more!
For those of you paying attention the tale of the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton is a long story of indifference, stupidity and bad policy. It has also become completely ridiculous.
The one remaining public body that wants to see the theatre survive, backing up that determination with money, is Taunton Borough Council in........... Taunton, which is in Somerset.
For the latest twist in this long tale The Stage brings us news that the council is seeking to "safeguard" the theatre from something or other.
Sadly this does not mean they are shipping the whole thing off to Helms Deep and the fortress Aglarond where they can fight to the death with thousands of Orcs in a bloody, but very well filmed and edited, battle to the end. (that's a pop culture reference, stop watching Doctor "who" Who already!)
No, what they are going to do is this;
"The council currently owns the freehold for the site and is looking to secure the remaining 61-year lease."
Securing a lease? That's some sexy stuff right there, this is why we work in the arts ladies and gentleman!
So there you have it. Tune in next week to find out if the theatre will be saved and will Melissa really end up with Trey or will she stab him in the back (literally) and take off with Shep and who is the father of baby Drax, is it Trax or Flax McGruder the Portuguese shipping magnet who really should attract tin cans more than women? (I think you mean "magnate"! Ed!)
Finally we have a tale from The Twitter. This week saw the launch of the new(ish) funding scheme by the National Funding Scheme called "Donate".
The arts folk, ever quick to be mesmerised by anything with a logo, proclaimed it to be the most awesome thing ever. This includes Stephen Fry, writer and alleged comedian, who, given the opportunity, would comment on the opening of a can of soup.
As we pointed out however the more you use "Donate" to give money to the arts, the less money they will actually get compared to rival online donation services that have been doing this type of thing for years!
Even more hilariously, depending on your point of view, is an uncredited piece in the Economist that mentions the NFS as an "innovator" in the field without bothering to look at any of the numbers
Just another week in the arts people.
Have a good weekend.
As everybody tries to avoid freezing to death in the current ridiculous weather in the UK it's time for our roundup of culture that this week features just one story.
Wayne McGregor, a man with more jobs than most in the wide world of dance, gave a TED talk a few months ago to explain his choreographic theory to an audience of, er........ people that go to TED talks.
At this talk Mr McGregor describes a choreographic technique that bears more than a passing resemblance to William Forsythe's technique known as "room writing".
That particular technique involves using imaginary objects as focal points for crafting specific movements and artificially manipulating the intent of the dancer in terms of their balance, their level and so on based on the location or type of imaginary objects in a given space. Mr Forsythe detailed his techniques in a CD-Rom entitled "Improvisation Technologies" that was released more than 13 years ago.
You can see an example from the CD-Rom below.
A few people are less than impressed with Mr McGregor's apparent lack of acknowledgement of Mr Forsythe during this talk including Anthony Rizzi who worked alongside Mr Forsythe for many years at Frankfurt Ballet.
Mr Rizzi commented on the Dance-Tech website;
"I am not sure if I am upset or honoured. I helped to create this style of movement with William Forsythe in 1985. it is kind of hard to hear this as if he has invented it. He should respect William Forsythe and mention him."
You can watch Mr McGregor's talk in full in the video below and make up your own mind but the methods are very similar. He begins actually demonstrating a couple of minutes into the video.
It's not completely beyond the realms of comprehension that two dance makers would come up with a similar methodology for crafting movement but given Mr McGregor's experience is it really believable that he had no knowledge of "Improvisation Technologies" or William Forsyth's techniques?
Have a good weekend.
It's been a slow week in the wide world of the arts but let us battle on regardless as we bring you, our dear readers, the week that was!
Debacle upon Debacle
You may remember, from last week, the continuing farce that is the closure of the Brewhhouse Theatre in Somerset. Nobody likes them, at least nobody in a position to give them money, so in a desperate attempt to save the place one councillor from Taunton Deane Borough Council (a conservative no less) proposed that the council folk give up 50% of their annual allowance and put the money toward saving the venue.
The proposal was shot down by other council members because they are apparently a little bit on the shy side.
"But fellow Conservative councillor Bryan Dennington, who proposed the motion to scupper the plan, disagreed. Mr Dennington said he was aware of several councillors who needed the allowance but who would be "embarrassed" to have to say so."
Each of the councillors receive over £4,000 annually in allowances to pay for things like...... well, ok, we have no idea and we're not calling them to find out. One presumes that if they are too embarrassed to admit they need the money then the council folk are spending the money on drugs and hookers. (allegedly)
Copping a Plea
Professional ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko has been arrested in Moscow and has apparently confessed to being the "mastermind" behind the acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet AD Sergei Filin.
Mr Dmitrichenko claimed that acid was never part of the plan, he told his henchman (Russian ballet dancers have henchmen? Ed!) to simply give Mr Filin a good kicking, not permanently disfigure him and potentially blind him with noxious chemicals. Well, that's alright then.
Perhaps the only thing more surprising than this type of violence being carried out on the AD of a ballet company is that it took at least three geniuses (a getaway driver was also involved) to come up with the plan in the first place and they still got it wrong.
Mr Filin is currently recovering in Germany while Mr Dmitrichenko and his partners in crime can look forward to spending a very long time in a Russian gulag.
Finally, the new Chairman of ACE, Peter Balzagette, took to the internets this past week for one of Arts Council England cowardly "live chats". The thing was so boring TheImp™ barely made it out alive and the questions and responses so dry you could literally feel moisture being sucked out of the atmosphere.
Here in TheLab™ we signed off thus;
Have a good weekend.
Greetings dear readers and welcome to the latest roundup of the week in culture. Only another 45 of these to go and then it'll be Christmas all over again.
Will It Or Won't It
Last week we brought you the tale of The Brewhouse in Taunton, a theatre, that was being closed down because it had completely run out of money and every organisation that could have supported the venue apparently hated them with a vengeance (allegedly).
Over the last seven days a few things have emerged. First of all the final blog post from the theatre, posted on their website, was taken down by dark forces who are, as yet, unknown. The former CEO of the theatre, Robert Miles, took to Facebook, as you do, to make his case and revealed a few interesting snippets.
One particularly interesting snippet was the fact that ACE withdrew funding (because of the aforementioned and completely alleged hatred) but then gave them two grants, one of which was a £450,000 "Sustain" award.
"Sustain" was a programme started by ACE to help organisations who were suffering serious financial difficulties, unless they were not actually suffering serious financial difficulties then they would just give you the money anyway, but that's another story.
Since ACE was one of several organisations that caused the Brewhouse to suffer serious financial difficulties in the first place giving them "Sustain" money is kinda taking the pi... (snip Ed!)
Adding further fuel to the fire we give you Taunton Deane Borough Council who have decided not to cut the £152,000 grant to the theatre despite the fact it has closed down. Currently this entire debacle is turning into a farce of epic proportions and we might just be losing interest.
The plan is, apparently, to have the venue stage community driven productions of "Spiderman The Musical" or something. Mr Miles however remains unimpressed;
"They can tell us until they are blue in the face that we should be making money but with 352 seats - you can't - it's as simple as that," he said."
In a fit of pique the BBC has decided to move the completely awful "Review" show from BBC2 every week to BBC4 once a month. The "show" which involves
pompous, self righteous know it alls arty folk yapping about some show or other they have been forced to watch was apparently not attracting much of audience. Colour us surprised about that little factoid!
Despite the fact the BBC is not supposed to care about ratings, or programme quality apparently, they have moved it to the channel where bad shows go to get cancelled. The BBC declined to respond to questions about why they don't just put the arts on TV instead of people yapping about them.
The Daily Fail
When they close the book on us, history will reflect that this was the day we referenced an article in the Daily Mail. As this is unfamiliar territory for us we're not sure if we need to get shots or something?
Anyway, The Fail reports that new BBC Director General Tony Hall has handed one of the top jobs at the TV channel to one of his friends from his old job at the Royal Opera House (he's actually still there, it's a whole limbo crossover thing right now).
The new Managing Director of BBC Finance is one Anne Bulford who will receive a salary of just £395,000 for her, for want of a better word, efforts. The post was not advertised for general applications.
"Lord Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, formally takes up his BBC post in April. Before joining Channel 4 in 2005, Miss Bulford spent three years with the Royal Opera House as director of finance and business affairs. Lord Hall knows her from their time together at the Royal Opera House and also from his time as deputy chairman at Channel 4."
Perhaps more interesting is the appointment of James Purnell, a former Labour Culture Minister, to some technology job or other with a salary of £295,000.
None of this looks like cronyism, favouritism or corruption at all, no siree, nothing to see here, move along, thanks!
Short-Termism, Which is not a Real Word!
The Guardian reports that some survey or other has revealed that, thanks to less funding, the theatre world will suffer and less folk will make the transition into radio, television, film and working behind the counter at their local McDonalds.
"The research, which drew on detailed surveys completed by 26 English theatres, was undertaken by playwright Fin Kennedy and Helen Campbell Pickford, a doctoral candidate at Oxford University.
The report provides testimony showing the "research-and-development" side of theatre is being particularly hard hit after the cuts, as organisations hunker down to protect core work on their main stages."
Why we needed research to confirm this is not at all clear. Culture Minister (and complete buffoon) Ed Vaizey was unimpressed, muttering something about none of this being the fault of anybody who is currently in government before wondering off and getting run over by a herd of stampeding giraffes (we can only hope).
Finally this week we have the tale of the RSC being set upon by the RSC. The first RSC is the Royal Shakespeare Company and the second one is the Reclaim Shakespeare Company (geddit?)
The latter is upset by the sponsorship the RSC is receiving from BP so they can buy new ruffs or something.
"The move follows last year's campaign against BP's involvement with the RSC, which saw performances of five productions in Stratford and London disrupted during the World Shakespeare Festival. The sponsorship also saw the RSC's playwright in residence Mark Ravenhill and actor Mark Rylance publicly questioning the appropriateness of the deal."
Apparently the other RSC doesn't think that a company that accidentally kills its employees and spills hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the ocean is an appropriate financial supporter of a theatre company that recreates plays about murder, infidelity, incest and who knows what else.
Have a nice weekend.
Hello dear readers and welcome to another round up of all the news from the business that is show which, if you believe some folk, is the thing people do before they get a "proper job".
Pirates of the Low Seas
Arts Professional reported, just yesterday as it happens, that Arts Council England has set aside a staggering £500,000 to pay staff on "sabbatical" from the funding monolith. Many of those on "sabbatical" are in fact set to lose their jobs in the coming months as part of ACE's restructuring effort to
pander to, appease the DCMS;
"Almost £500,000 has been earmarked in Arts Council England's (ACE) 2012 accounts to cover 20 staff sabbaticals, costing the funder an average of £24,400 each. AP's Freedom of Information request to the Arts Council has revealed that nine staff are taking paid sabbaticals between January and June this year, seven of whom will not be returning to the organisation and are due to be made redundant on 30 June as part of ACE's programme of cuts."
A nice payoff if you can get it!
From The Stage comes the news that another theatre has gone into administration because absolutley nobody thought they needed money to operate. the Brewhouse in Taunton, Somerset had lost its funding from ACE years ago then Somerset County Council piled on in 2010 along with cuts of 25% from Taunton Deane Borough Council.
Taking all of that into account its probably a miracle that they lasted as long as they did after ACE pulled the plug. Apparently the leader of Somerset County Council announced the cut by saying "The party is over". What a charmer he must be!
If you're reading this story after the first one, which would be completely logical, then feel free to step outside for a moment or two of quiet reflection before continuing with your day.
In The Red
The now doomed Byre Theatre in St. Andrews, Scotland is going under in spectacular fashion with debts of almost £500,000 reports The Scotsman. Despite all evidence to the contrary the people running the place denied they had been spending money like drunken sailors
It was due to run out of money within weeks, despite substantial financial backing from both Fife Council and Creative Scotland in recent years. After news of the closure emerged, the Byre's board admitted that the venue had been struggling to meet its running costs.
The amount of debt the theatre had was only 10 times less than the amount of money spent refurbishing the place to begin with. If anybody wants to do a Cleopatra joke, (you know, Queen of De Nile), then take a number and get in line!
Alistair Gentry, in the Guardian, was waxing lyrical, or at least waxing, about the futility of spending huge sums of money on shiny new buildings but forgetting to actually fund the art that you're supposed to put in them.
"Salaried curators are still palpably bored by any artists except the ones they already know and were probably educated alongside in the first place. They still whinge that if they started looking for interesting art they don't already know about, then they'd do nothing else all day (hint: it's your job)."
As many in the arts world said, almost as one, "where the hell have you been dude?" he continued as if he couldn't hear them with a reasoned destruction of infrastructure policy. Reading the stories above you just know he's right, right?
[ Source: The Gaurdian ] (tip of the hat to Lewis Major for that one)
The Week in Tweets
Following the calamity of the Brewhouse closure we decided to have some fun with ACE via the Twittersphere.
Their response was, of course, to say nothing.
Have a nice weekend!
Welcome dear readers to a roundup of the week in culture and what a week it was. Well, it wasn't that good a week since not a lot happened but we shall plough on regardless.
Some good news, for once, in the shape of Harriet Harman, current Shadow Culture Secretary for the Labour party, who stepped in to sort out the debacle of the threatened 100% cuts to the arts budget in Newcastle upon Tyne. Believe it or not, the council in Newcastle is actually a Labour council, not, as some suspected, the Slash N' Burn™ division of the Coalition Government.
Council leader Nick Forbes had been accused by many of grand standing to make a larger political point and help is own career in the Labour party by making the cuts, blaming it all on somebody else and to hell with the people caught in the middle. Sounds just like a regular politician to us.
What's actually going to happen over the next three years is still not very clear but Ms Harman was adamant that Labour loves the arts, or something and that Nick Forbes is a complete plank, or something!
Ap Angry, AP Smash
Arts Professional has had enough of all the whiners complaining about the fact that they keep giving Arts Council England a hard time. APs Editor, Liz Hill, in a short editorial told those people to shut up and go play in traffic on the M25............. alright, she didn't say that but she probably should have.
She did say this though;
"we simply believe that a public organisation has a duty to play by its published rules, act transparently, treat those it funds - and those it doesn't - with respect and do its utmost to be a good steward of the public money entrusted to it. Given that wider public support for arts funding is already dwindling..."
Here in TheLab™ we know the feeling only too well.
This week in Tweets Article19 asked Arts Council England why their CEO was a big coward;
To which they answered..... nothing because they're frightened of us or something.
Finally, we caught this little gem is a comment on the story in the Guardian telling us all about Harriet Harman beating Nick Forbes with a shovel.
"Arts subsidies are not necessary. Anyone with a phone can be the best photographer." | discussion.guardian.co.uk/comment-permal... | says random dude on the web— Article19 (@Article19) February 12, 2013
Have a good weekend.