15 February 2012
Posted in Theatre
Guild President David Edgar was a speaker at the Arts Council's annual State of the Arts conference, held on 14 February at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.
(Photo: David Edgar being interviewed during the State of the Arts Conference)
The State of the Arts conference was chaired by TV presenter Kirsty Wark and began with addresses by Arts Council chair Liz Forgan, who announced a new intrernational ars development fund set up in partnership with the British Council, and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP, who outlined new plans for cultural education in schools.
During a panel discussion, David Edgar pointed out that the recent £40m increase in the budget for the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies is twice the amount necessary to reinstate all the arts bodies whose grants were cut off last March. He attacked a prevailing wisdom that that these cuts were inevitable or somehow beneficial.
After workshops on the relationship of the arts with audiences, the creative economy, fundraising and the environment, the BBC's Will Gompertz interviewed choreographer Arlene Phillips about the need to increase arts broadcasting on television.
David Edgar delivered the closing keynote address, which argued that the arts will need to make a stronger case for funding than ever before. However, artists shouldn't forget their oppositional role, to challenge as well as to comfort and entertain.