Voices

These letters were published in the 26th December edition of the Independent

A 'Renaissance' on the cheap: arts world condemns cash cuts

There are two views of the arts in Britain, and yesterday the difference between these perspectives appeared more stark than ever. On one side are those who run the UK's cultural sector, who proclaim the nation is enjoying a golden age of artistic endeavour. And then there are the artists themselves.

Terence Blacker: The appalling shambles of our arts policy

These are golden times, apparently, for the arts. Last October, a £1bn settlement on the Arts Council was confirmed. One of the council's senior strategists has predicted, as from next month, "the start of very, very exciting times in the theatre". Meanwhile a government-commissioned report into artistic excellence, written by Sir Brian McMaster, is published this week.

Cover Stories: Arts Council England; Elizabeth Gaskell; Baedeker guidebooks

* For many independent publishers, the end of 2007 brought bad news from Arts Council England. Their grants are due to be cut, although there is still time for a re-think. Dedalus, which publishes a mix of innovative translated works and offbeat English-language fiction, stands to lose c. £25,000, "which will just about do us", says publisher Eric Lane, who now plans to sue ACE for ignoring its own guidelines. Arcadia, winner last year of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize with The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa, may lose some 25 per cent of its grant, while poetry publisher Anvil Press will lose 23 per cent in 2008-9. Peter Jay, who founded the company 40 years ago, fears that Anvil will not survive as it is. But Tindal Street, riding high on the success of Catherine O'Flynn's Costa-winning What Was Lost, enjoys an increase. While some publishers believe that the Government is diverting funds towards the escalating cost of the Olympics, most feel that the cuts reflect a more hard-nosed business approach from a body looking for "value for money".

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Charles Saumarez Smith: 'Cultural institutions are good for any city's economy'

From a speech by the President of the Museums Association and the Director of the National Gallery given in London

Naseem Khan: We should celebrate diversity, not suppress it

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Christopher Frayling: Why should the arts be the first to suffer when money is tight?

In recent years, the contemporary visual arts have enjoyed not just a sustained period of productive activity, but a much higher profile than ever before.

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