IdeasTap to close due to lack of funding

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Peter De Haan has announced the charity’s closure

Arts charity IdeasTap has announced it is to close in June after failing to secure future funding. IdeasTap’s chairman Peter De Haan said of the news: ‘We’ve worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to confirm future funding for our operations. It is with great sadness and reluctance that we have reached this decision.’

IdeasTap was founded during the financial crisis in 2008, aiming to assist unemployed young people by creating industry opportunities at leading arts organisations as well as providing access to funding, competitions, jobs, training and advice. The charity has accrued over 190,000 members and has awarded more than £2.3m worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists.

Following IdeasTap’s closure on 2 June, the charity will honour ongoing commitments, such as showcasing four companies at the Edinburgh Fringe, until the end of the year; the IdeasTap website will also continue to operate as an archive, featuring a selection of members’ and partners’ projects as well as career guides and advice.

www.ideastap.com

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The full version of this news story features in Teaching Drama Summer 1 – out next week. Subscribe to the print or digital edition for more news, features and information. Single issues are also available in print and digital from just £2.49.

Miliband promises arts at the heart of Labour government

Ed Miliband has said that Labour will ‘put policy for arts and culture and creativity at the heart of the Labour government’s mission’ if the party gains power in this year’s general election. The Labour leader was speaking at the Creative Industries Federation at Battersea Arts Centre.

‘Britain will be a prouder, richer, stronger country when we give everybody the opportunity to develop their creativity, expand their horizons, enhance their talents and make a life for themselves in the arts and culture: old and young, rich and poor, north and south.’

Despite his backing of arts and culture, Miliband would not confirm that there would be no further cuts to the arts, saying: ‘I can’t make promises about what funding’s going to look like in the future.’

Ed Miliband speaking at the Creative Industries Federation at Battersea Arts Centre (Credit: Ian Watts)

Ed Miliband speaking at the Creative Industries Federation at Battersea Arts Centre (Credit: Ian Watts)

In his speech, Miliband also quoted from the Warwick Commission’s report, and said: ‘If we care about the opportunities for the young, the findings of the Warwick Commission should worry us all.

‘The next Labour government’s mission is to guarantee every young person, from whatever background, access to the arts and culture: a universal entitlement to a creative education for every child.’

In Miliband’s speech, Labour backed the Warwick Commission’s recommendation that schools will only be able to receive an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted if they offer creative subjects and cultural opportunities within a broad and balanced curriculum.

Other policies announced during the speech included: strengthening creative education in schools by encouraging afterschool clubs to offer music, drama, dance, art, sport or other creative activities; building better career pathways into the arts and creative industries by increasing the number of apprenticeships; and widening free access to museums and galleries.

Student Guide to Drama Education 2014-15

SGDE 2014-15 cover F01a.inddThe 2014-15 Student Guide to Drama Education is now available to view online for FREE.

Whether you are looking to study drama at university, drama school or perhaps even starting out in the industry – you’ll find this to be a helpful guide.

Features in this year’s guide include:

  • For anyone considering drama at higher education level, our ‘five in focus’ articles put five universities, five drama schools and five training alternatives under the spotlight
  • Expert advice on picking a career pathway
  • How to survive a drama school audition
  • A guide to higher education funding
  • How to find the perfect headshot photographer for you
  • A step-by-step guide to marketing an emerging theatre company
  • PLUS – interviews with people working in the industry

Read the guide at www.rhinegold.co.uk/sgde. Subscribers to Teaching Drama will receive the Student Guide to Drama Education with their Autumn 1 2014-15 issue.

 

Theatre casualties in Arts Council national portfolio announcement

Richard Frame (Hermia), Thomas Padden (Theseus) & Sam Swainsbury (Demetrius)

Propeller in performance: the theatre company’s future is thrown into doubt without Art Council funding

Arts Council England (ACE) has revealed the organisations who will, and will not, be part of their national portfolio for 2015–18. All-male Shakespeare company Propeller, Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond and radical touring company Red Ladder have not made ACE’s portfolio list, resulting in loss of funding.

Propeller were told by the ACE, ‘’We decided that, taking into account the quality and level of your artform provision available nationally, we preferred other applications.’ Responding to ACE’s comments, the company and Propeller’s director Edward Hall said: ‘Whilst a lack of commitment from ACE to high-quality touring theatre on a financial basis is perhaps understandable, Propeller’s national reach and quality of work cannot be called into question as our track record amply demonstrates. I am sorry that this decision will prevent us from continuing to pursue our national touring programme which has delighted so many thousands of people and which will prevent our company from pursuing its commitment to delivering affordable, high-quality drama in the regions.’

News of Orange Tree Theatre’s funding loss from the ACE came as the new artistic director Paul Miller began his first day in the role. He told BBC news: ‘I think the big, national contradictory pressures that are on the Arts Council were just so great that something had to give – and on that occasion it was us.

‘Once upon a time, the Orange Tree was a fledgling start-up company that had its first Arts Council funding. For new younger companies to get into the system, it means that existing organisations cannot simply take for granted that they will continue to be regularly funded. There are still many ways in which we can continue to take wonderful theatre in our lovely space. We just have to find a financially different way of doing it.’

Other organisations face smaller cuts: The Barbican will lose 18% of funding, while The Southbank Centre, National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company will each receive a 3.6% reduction.

Some theatre organisations enjoyed a boost, with increases in funding for Unicorn of 28% and Hull Truck of 46%; welcome news for Hull Truck following the ACE’s assessment of the theatre company earlier this year as facing ‘immediate and serious financial risk’.

This year saw a 2% rise in the allocation of funding to regional companies, with 47% dedicated to organisations in London and 53% to those outside of the capital.

ACE chair Sir Peter Bazalgette said of the portfolio announcements: ‘We are in the premier league of creative nations and this portfolio will keep us on top in an era of tight funding. We can delight in our arts organisations and museums for the sheer inspiration they bring to our daily lives as well as their contribution to the creative sector. I’m proud that we’ve been able to deliver such a strong and well balanced portfolio.

‘With 46 new entrants to the national portfolio, with increased funding for grants for the arts, and with creative people and places being maintained at its current level over the next period, this settlement represents a commitment by Arts Council England to new talent and building England’s arts and culture capacity all over the country. When funding is declining you have to set priorities – this we have done.’

Campaign launched in support of regional theatres

MTM_logo_redA campaign entitled My Theatre Matters! has been launched to encourage support of local theatres. The initiative is being led by Equity, The Stage and Theatrical Management Association (TMA).

The Stage editor Brian Attwood says: ‘Many theatres are facing reductions, and in some cases complete cuts, in support from their local authorities. It is the single biggest threat currently facing our industry.

‘While there are many enlightened councils out there who continue to support their local theatres, we fear there will also be many who see them as an easy target at a time of cuts. We need to show that theatres aren’t an easy target, but are public services that are really valued by their audiences.’

The campaign responds to continuing funding cuts by local authorities which are having a damaging effect on regional theatres around the country. In January 2013, theatres and museums in Sheffield were hit by cuts of 20% from the city council; Newcastle City Council announced that it would stop funding theatres and arts venues in March, instead instigating a fund worth only 50% of previous financial support; and in the same month, Westminster council confirmed that it would cut all funding to the arts by 2014/5.

The My Theatre Matters! campaign can be followed via Twitter (@theatre_matters), Facebook (www.facebook.com/mytheatrematters) and their website (www.mytheatrematters.com).

To read the full story, subscribe or buy a digital copy of Teaching Drama Summer 1.

Newcastle city council cuts all funding to arts organisations

Theatre_Royal,_Newcastle_upon_TyneNewcastle City Council is to cut 100% of its funding to arts organisations in the city by 2016 in the effort to save the council
£90million.

Proposals from the council state: ‘The city benefits from vibrant and popular cultural institutions, but given the scale of government cuts it will not be possible for us to play as significant a role in their funding in the future. We therefore propose to work with cultural institutions to manage a substantial reduction in their funding from the council, with some institutions needing to secure their future without council resources by 2016.’

To read more of this story, subscribe or buy a digital copy of Teaching Drama Spring 1

TMA to help support local authorities

A new scheme has been launched by the Theatrical Management Association (TMA) to help local authorities sustain theatre provisions. TMA will provide advice on reducing costs and boosting income and link up organisations facing similar challenges.

Chief executive of TMA, Julian Bird said: ‘We have started to gather a database of good practice all around the UK and will happily signpost authorities to other organisations facing similar challenges so that they can find out what is working and what isn’t.’

Philip Bernays, TMA council member and chief executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal, revealed that last year savings were made of around £164,000  through communication and collaboration between 10 different organisations. He said: ‘By taking new approaches to procurement, all organisations are making major savings on their insurance costs. We have proved that there are ways of sustaining quality services by working collectively to save money.’

TMA will approach industry bodies for local government to offer their support. Funding has become one of the most pressing issues  facing theatres as local authorities face making huge cuts to their budgets.

President of TMA, Rachel Tackley said: ‘We that know Local Authorities are under enormous financial pressure but there is a difference between looking to make management changes that will lead to greater value for investment and making un-strategic cuts that threaten community assets. We applaud Councils such as Coventry and Bristol that are safeguarding arts funding because they understand the value of theatre in their communities, but other authorities are also showing strong leadership by supporting arts organisations through a managed period of change. In other places the sector is coming together to work out new ways of reducing back office costs and increasing earned income.’

For more information visit tmauk.org

Finsbury Park Theatre against the clock for funding

Park Theatre have been given the opportunity to have one floor of its new complex  in Finsbury transformed into a studio for community and educational work. However, they have been given just three months to raise the £400,000 needed for the development.

If the money is raised in time, the new floor will house Islington Community Theatre (ICT) who have recently been ousted from their Holloway base. ICT provide free acting lessons to disadvantaged young people. If the funding does not materialise, their future will hang in the balance.

The £2 million Park Theatre is due to open in Autumn 2012. It will contain two theatres with a seating capacity of 200 and 90 respectively. Currently Park Theatre have raised £75,000 through donations – if the target is left unreached, the floor will be converted into private flats.

Artistic director of the ICT, Ned Glasier said: ‘It would be incredibly sad to lose it to a flat. We already get amazing support from places like the Pleasance Theatre, but being based at the Park would help us connect our young people to a working theatre on a day-to-day basis and give them new opportunities particularly in technical theatre.’

To find out more information or to donate visit http://parktheatre.co.uk/