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Wise Children joining our National Portfolio

Posted on 28 July 2017

A response to reports on our decision making for new theatre company Wise Children entering our 2018-22 National Portfolio:

A spokesperson for the Arts Council has said:

“Arts Council England emphatically rejects the unsubstantiated allegation made in an Arts Professional article on 27 July 2017 that there are different rules for applicants to our funding programmes according to how well known they might be to Arts Council staff.

“We have in place a rigorous and equitable application and assessment process that applies across the organisation. It is open, accountable, auditable and transparent. It includes taking advice from experts across and beyond the arts and culture sector. The decisions to fund all National Portfolio Organisations are not made by staff, but by the Arts Council’s National and Area Councils.

“We are thrilled to welcome Wise Children into the National Portfolio and proud to support Emma Rice, who is one of the most inspirational theatre makers working in the UK today. It’s a major coup for the South West that Emma has chosen to base her new company here and is a significant indication of the pull of the region as a centre for cultural activity and creative industries.

“We are absolutely committed to supporting Wise Children over the next few years and see the company’s acknowledgement of our support as a sign of our value to them. We seek to offer this development support wherever we identify exciting opportunities across our sector. Helping artists and companies realise their potential is an essential aspect of the Arts Council’s development role.

“The negotiation and development of a funding agreement with Wise Children is predicated on them basing themselves in the South West. While rooted in the South West, Wise Children will have a national significance and London is an important part of that national picture. So we are pleased that Wise Children are embarking on an exciting residency at The Old Vic, although that is not an aspect of our funding to them. The Old Vic is not a National Portfolio Organisation and receives no regular funding from the Arts Council”