Local government remains the Arts Council’s most important strategic and delivery partner. Up and down the country, it is the commitment of local councils to support a healthy cultural infrastructure that is vital to our vision of great art, museums and libraries.
Although the overall story of local government’s investment and leadership in arts and culture has been a hugely successful one, with the economic, cultural and social impact clear to see from cities and smaller towns, to rural areas across the country, we recognise that councils face major challenges in sustaining their support. Local authorities have seen their resources greatly reduce and in response many have made proportionately higher cuts to their direct cultural provision and funding of independent arts and cultural organisations, than to other services. The Arts Council wants to work with local government to overcome these challenges. Without local government’s commitment, there is no great art and culture for everyone.
The report, On with the show - supporting local arts and culture, investigates the extent to which local authorities prioritise and value the arts and culture and also, how councils can continue to support a resilient and flourishing cultural scene in their localities via alternative models.
Key highlights within the research include looking at how a local authority with a clear vision for arts and culture can directly impact on the economic and social development of an area, and how to embed this within their overall priorities. The research also focuses on the powerful impact that partnerships between local authorities, organisations and the community can have on sustaining the arts and maximising funding opportunities.