My latest enquiries at the Arts Council

Firstly the Arts Council’s magazine Create – vanity publishing in an age of austerity. I looked into the Arts Council’s publication of their magazine “Create”.

“The publication cost £16,999 to commission the essays. Nineteen contributors in all, of which only three contibutors gave their services for free. £1062 an essay – nice work if you can get it – and that is certainly a provocation to a journalist writing about jazz.The costs for the printed publication were £33,752. Three thousand copies were printed which works out as £11.25 per copy. At the time of my enquiry on the 22nd December 2014, they had distributed 2,345 copies and received a total of 12,920 unique views and 15,496 views. In addition the publication in ISSUU format  had 4,594 reads and 10,100 impressions. – See more at:Vanity publishing at the Arts Council

Secondly my enquiry to Arts Council England regarding a policy for music.

On the 17th October I wrote to the Arts Council drawing attention to the fact that their own statistics reported in the PRS magazine for the summer of 2014 stated that jazz received just two percent of the available monies for music. Opera received a percentage increase of 22.5% which gave opera and music thatre 57.9% of the total budget.

I had to write a number of reminder letters and then pin them down to get a straight answer. The answer to my enquiry of “I would be grateful if you could let me have a copy of the Arts Council’s policy for music” was “I have checked all of our internal resources and there is no policy in the way that you may be expecting to see”. The blunt and unpalatable fact is that the Arts Council does not have a music policy nor does it have other art fom policies. However it does have a policy for opera touring called “Spheres of Influence”. What a way to run a railway? The latest round of National Portfolio Organisation bids was not based on,  or informed  by  a concrete, coherent policy for music or other art forms, as they have not got one. NPO bids were based  on a specious set of Arts Council goals that do not reflect the arts forms. The tax payer deserves better than this.

– See more at: Arts Council’s policy for music