As the summer grinds on and Autumn looms upon the horizon like...... like something that looms, we thought it prudent to present you with an indispensable guide on how to get money out of Arts Council England. Cutbacks are coming and access to the money is going to get harder and harder. Following our Top Tips™ should help you navigate through the paperwork, the corruption (allegedly) and the outright lies.
You never heard this from us, keep it on the QT!
1. The Assessment Officer.
The assessment officer is the person from ACE you meet with prior to handing over your application form. There's no subtle way to to say this; The only way your application is going to get past the first stage is by using bribery!
Obviously large sums of cash are not an option since you wouldn't be applying for money in the first place if you had any of that. You can also get your mind out of the gutter with regard to anything that involves......... touching! (touching? Ed!)
What we have to go for here are illicit gifts. Chocolates, DVDs, games consoles, free meals, flights on private jets, antique furniture, etc, etc. These things work on politicians so they should work just as easily on Joe Bloggs at ACE.
You must be subtle about it though. Wait for them to go to lunch, follow them, sit down somewhere close, drop the gift next to them and wander off. They pick up the package, you capture the whole thing on camera and you've got them. Ok, technically that's blackmail not bribery but they both begin with 'B' so same difference!
Blackmail is also historically cheaper than bribery!
2. The Application Form
In the entire 60 year history of ACE an honest word has yet to be written on a successful application form. There are lies, damn lies, statistics and then there's an ACE application form.
Whatever your project is doesn't matter, what the art form is doesn't matter. If you want money then list yourself as a "gay, cross-dressing, disabled, atheist, pygmy of Eastern European origins with great grandparent of Asian origins, married to someone from Belgium, currently living in Peckham, East London" and you're all set!
Even if you are part of an organisation all you have to do is mention that the above is one of your employees. If you're feeling really adventurous then you can mix things up a little. Change atheist for protestant, gay for lesbian, pygmy for horse, you get the idea!
3. Mention the Olympics
As with your application the nature of your project does not matter. Mentioning the Olympics is all that matters (apart from the disabled pygmy stuff from the previous tip!)
Simply add the following paragraph to your form;
"This project will allow these massively disadvantaged, dirty, common, poverty stricken wretches from [insert location here] to feel at one with their community as the London Olympics in 2012 grow ever more prominent in our minds.
The combination of physical activity, mental agility,
substance abuse and [insert art form here] can draw comparisons and inspiration with our brave, determined, drug addled and virtuous athletes who will soon take to the field of sporting endeavour for the London Olympics in 2012.
Did we mention that this work has very prominent ties to the London Olympics in 2012?"
Using the words "kids" or "young people" should be worth about £20,000 extra per mention!
4. Try Very Hard to Take Sebastian Coe Seriously
Look, the man has had the same haircut for over 40 years to say nothing of the fact he looks like an accountant (apologies to all our readers who are accountants!) Sources close the Mr Coe have denied his hair is a glued on plastic mould specially made by Tupperware®.
When the truly ridiculous "wish it was a joke but it's not" logo for the Olympics in 2012 was revealed Mr Coe, Chairman of the LOCOG, said thus;
"It will define the venues we build and the Games we hold and act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world. "It is an invitation to take part and be involved."
However, you must fight the urge to throw up over you computer screen. Just bite your tongue and nod appreciably whenever he speaks. Making fun of this guy will only make you a pariah in the eyes of the country. (looks like we're screwed then! Ed!)
Also, you have to admire a man who can talk such complete bollocks about the most risible attempt at graphic design in the history of mankind!
5. Suck Up To Jude Kelly
The AD of The Southbank Centre in London was recently described in The Guardian as "one of the most powerful people in the arts". Sources close to Ms Kelly have described her alternately as "Sauron", "She Who Must Not Be Named™", "[a] mad old bat" and "a bit doo-lally".
In keeping with the first two, less than flattering, descriptions Ms Ke....., She Who Must Not Be Named™ is also the "chair of culture, ceremonies and education at the London organising committee for the Olympic games".
Just how you suck up to her is a matter of some debate. Having a three headed dragon wrapped around a sword tattooed on your right forearm whilst chanting something in Latin is the preferred method. Sending gift wrapped Bon Bon's dipped in chicken's blood will also work but that can get a little messy and the Post Office frowns upon such things.
Rumour has it, from sources close to the rumours, that when her followers touch their tattoos a completely banal community arts project is given a massive amount of funding, a baby unicorn dies and a little more hope is lost from the world.
6. Put Yourself About
Once again, get your mind out of the gutter we're not talking about .......... touching! (why don't you just call it sex? Ed!)
What we mean is; Attend every single arts event you possibly can. ACE folks love to attend conferences, openings, sharings, forums, ceremonies, etc etc. If you have soup for lunch the chances are an ACE employee will be there to watch you open the can.
Getting yourself out there brings about that "ah yes, I remember you from the [insert crap event here]" you were both at the week before.
From there you have your chance to set the bribery/blackmail sting into operation! It's all about laying the groundwork!
7. Don't Associate Yourself With Article19
Sources close to the source of this information have told us that being connected to Article19 is a very bad thing indeed.
A common response to any of
The Dark Lord's ACE's minions when asked about Article19 is; "oh that, er.... online magazine thing, yeah....... i've heard of it sure, never read it though, do you like chocolates?"
8. Don't Mention The War
In case you haven't heard, The War™ Inc. is not going well so making work that in any way reminds us or the politicos that control the money that things in Iraq™ are not exactly pleasant will bring about a swift refusal to hand over any cash. It's also completely impossible to spin the London Olympics 2012 into "car bomb in Baghdad® kills 150".
You have been warned!