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News in Brief

  • Date: 16 December 2009
  • Area: South East

Helping to achieve great art for everyone
In January we will be inviting all our stakeholders to help us shape our short and long-term priorities - to achieve great art for everyone. Our mission reflects the key role that culture plays in everyday life. It demands that the value of the arts is recognised and it brings to the forefront the need to work collectively to create the conditions where great art can happen and is accessible to as many people as possible. The consultation is a public opportunity to discuss and debate what needs to be done to create these conditions. The outcome of the consultation will give us the framework to make short and longer term investment decisions. Arts Council regularly funded organisations and other partners contributed to the early development of materials for consultation through briefings held across the country. Since then we have completed a review of published papers and research, and looked at art form, cross cutting and regional priorities. To ensure we get a broad range of views we will be asking you to share awareness of the consultation with your networks. Information about how to take part will be published on the Arts Council website in the new year.


Metal smashes bunting world record
Arts Council funded arts organisation Metal, based in Southend, has smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest line of bunting measuring 2,158 metres, the same length as Southend Pier. Measured by Southend Councillor for Culture, Derek Jarvis, Metal’s bunting was confirmed as a new world record in October. The bunting was created by local schools and community groups, who stitched 9,000 decorated flags to one continuous length of ribbon, which was then displayed around Chalkwell Park. The previous record for a length of bunting was 1,504 which had been held since June 2006. Metal’s Managing Director, Colette Bailey, said: “It’s fantastic. Metal worked hard, but so did everyone around the borough. We couldn’t have done it without everyone taking on the challenge.”



Unlimited Commissions is a £1.5 million fund to support the production of quality work across all artforms by disabled and Deaf artists, and disabled and Deaf-led arts organisations, who wish to develop their work, strengthen their artistic practice, challenge perceptions and forge new partnerships with presenting venues and events. Unlimited Commissions is part of Unlimited; one of the major projects of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad being delivered by Arts Council England in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Arts Council of Wales on behalf of London 2012 and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. The deadline for applications for round one is 4 January 2010, with two further deadlines in October 2010 and April 2011. Successful applicants from round one will be notified on 12 March 2010. For further information on the application process click here.


The Poetry Treatment
A new specially-commissioned poem Treatment by Michael Laskey has been unveiled in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Michael wrote the poem after spending time at the hospital earlier this year running poetry reading workshops with hospital staff, spending time talking with patients on dialysis and finding poems they would enjoy having read to them.
The new poem and Michael’s work with staff and patients was part of the year-long project The Poetry Treatment – an innovative programme to take contemporary poetry into the hospital. A cornerstone of this project was the popular Poems on loo doors. 68 poets were invited to contribute poems. All had strong links with The Poetry Trust, having read at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, delivered learning or community projects or been part of the organisation. It has been calculated that over the year, the changing programme of poems on 160 loo doors will have attracted a remarkable one million reads! The Poetry Treatment was devised and run by The Poetry Trust and organised in collaboration with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Hospital Arts Project, and funded by Arts Council England, East, The Limbourne Trust and Norfolk County Council.


Arts Council publishes RFO criteria
Arts Council England currently provides around £350 million a year in regular funding to around 880 arts organisations. This money represents almost three quarters of our investment in the arts and is the most significant way in which we achieve our outcomes and pursue our mission to support great art for everyone. We have a strategy for the arts which underpins our decisions about funding for individual organisations. This document aims to describe the framework we use in making these decisions. For details of the criteria click here.


Norfolk & Norwich Festival unveils highlight shows for 2010
Norfolk & Norwich Festival has announced five highlight shows from its May 2010 programme including the UK première of Jerusalem: a City of Two Peaces, the highly acclaimed new work by legendary viola da gambist Jordi Savall; the UK première of Out of Context, Alain Platel’s new work for les ballets C de la B; a new commission by artist, performance-maker and writer Tim Etchells; a rare UK performance by electric guitar innovator John McLaughlin; and Parklife, an outdoor circus project by NoFit State Circus. Artistic director Jonathan Holloway said: “Never before has Norfolk & Norwich Festival shown such breadth and such extraordinary potential this early in the year. Jordi Savall’s work is an exquisite song of history, momentous in scope, intimate in sentiment; Alain Platel is simply one of the most important choreographers of the moment. And what better place for them to come together than in the programme of one of the most exciting festivals in the UK.” Tickets are now on sale. To book by phone call 01603 766400 or go online at . The full programme for Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2010 will be launched in February.