All arts organizations must reapply for funding

Funding for public arts orgs in England will be cut 6.9% next year to meet the budget reductions ordered by the government in last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Arts Council England said all its 844 orgs would have to reapply for funding, and some would be turned down. And it warned that nearly 80% of cuts were expected in the first two years of the four-year Spending Review.

Last week, ACE was told that it would have to slash arts funding by 29.6% over four years, repping about £457 million ($725 million) of its budget, and was ordered to make a 14.9% cut to monies available to regularly funded orgs by 2014-15 while also cutting its own administrative costs by half to $17.4 million.

ACE toppers met on Monday to work out how to implement the cuts and decided that major reductions would be made to orgs whose primary purpose is not arts creation or performance.

The budget for Creativity, Culture and Education, an org that focuses on youth, will have its budget halved to $30.1 million by 2011-12; Arts and Business, which connects companies to cultural orgs, will also have its coin halved, to $3 million, next year and will receive no further core funding beyond 2012.

ACE’s fund for artistic work, which includes national touring and cultural leadership, will be cut 64%, or $33.3 million, this year.

“These are severe cuts, made worse by the fact that around 80% of them have to come in the first two years of the settlement,” said Arts Council chair Liz Forgan. “We are determined to lead the arts through this tough period.”

She added that the org had been in conversation with the Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport for several months. “We have had to prioritize to achieve a 6.9% cut to our portfolio within a 14% cash cut to our overall 2011-12 budget,” she said.

The Royal National Theater, which last year received $31.2 million from ACE, deemed the org’s handling of the cuts to be fair.

“The Arts Council has done very well to translate a 14% cut into a 6.9% cut for the vast majority of its clients,” said director Nicholas Hytner.

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