The Week February 3rd - February 7th

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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WEEK.jpgJoin us dear readers as once again we plunge into the important stories that affected the arts this week.

Crony Funds

Arts Professional magazine brought us the story of the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) and their unusual connection to the National Funding Scheme (NFS), a fund raising charity specifically for the arts.

"The NFS has been both high-profile and controversial from the start, with one critic accusing it of replicating the functionality of the long-established fundraising platform JustGiving.com, and another arguing for "a better due diligence process from both the government and from funders to ensure that they are not paying to reinvent the wheel." These comments came in the wake of the unusual step by the DCMS to host a launch event to publicise the plans of scheme founder William Makower and his private IT company Panlogic Ltd."

The NFS cost about £600,000 to set up and keep running and the return on that investment has been a slightly disappointing, to say the least, £14,500 for the organisations allowed into the pilot programme.

When Article19 covered the NFS and their "Donate" scheme last year we pointed out that using their service instead of the numerous others available meant less money going straight to any arts organisation that used it because of higher fees.

AP continues;

"The original vision was for the NFS to become self-funding by charging a 4% fee on each donation and by selling donor data. Self-sustainability was a pre-condition of setting up the charity, but while it scales up its operations it will continue to need financial support."

So, unless the NFS can actually sustain itself with the 4% fee it charges on donations then the people propping up this idea with financial support will probably do more good giving their money directly to the arts.

The lesson to learn here is that if a system already exists along with the technology to support it then just use that. Don't spend massive sums re-inventing the wheel because what you will end up with is a wheel.

[ Source: Arts Professional ]

Basil Brush Mayor

If you are unfortunate enough to live in London then you will be more than familiar with the mayor of that particular city and the fact that he's completely crazy.

Arts Professional, again, reports that Boris Johnson (Bojo) has put the brakes on a massive redevelopment of the eyesore that is the Southbank Centre because, well, because he's crazy.

"Southbank Centre has announced that its £120m development plans are now in limbo following Mayor of London Boris Johnson's recent insistence that the development "should not be at the detriment of the skate park which should be retained in its current position." The Centre had planned to achieve commercial income for the refurbishment of its 1960s buildings, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery"

It's not at all clear why the Mayor of London cares about a skatepark because he doesn't seem to care at all about cyclist being killed on London's roads while using his blue paint cycle network but there you have it.

The Southbank Centre development had offered to build a completely new skatepark (at a cost of £1Million last we heard) just across the road but apparently, if you use a skatepark then location is everything.

For the residents of London keen to see the Southpark Centre turned into somewhere nice that more folks might want to go the way forward is not clear. Getting rid of crazy mayors might be a good start though.

[ Source: Arts Professional ]

Give It Back

The Stage is reporting (stop laughing at the back) that one Charlotte Jones from the Independent Theatre Council has suggested that the huge amounts of money made from commercially successful and publicly subsidised theatre productions should go back to Arts Council England.

"Speaking at a symposium on the future of small-scale touring at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester last week, Jones said: "I am delighted that the National Theatre made such a success out of War Horse, I am delighted that the Royal Shakespeare Company has made a success out of Matilda [the Musical], but shouldn't some of that come back into the arts council?"

Ms Jones would like the money to go toward supporting small and mid-scale touring companies to "level the playing field" as apposed to paying the massive salaries of people like Nicholas Hytner.

These musings come on the back of a report that revealed, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, that arts funding is not distributed fairly.

The National Theatre didn't comment for the piece in The Stage and even if they did their response would probably be incoherent. Little more than the mutterings of a raging drunkard, probably.

[ Source: The Stage ]

The Week in Tweets

Following the end of British Dance Edition in Edinburgh and (for purely symbolic reasons) Glasgow this past weekend Dance Umbrella tweeted;

We've said it once, we've said it a thousand times. Dance, always talking about the wrong things.

Have a great weekend.

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The Week March 10 - March 14

The Week January 20th - January 24th