Letter: Iniquitous Arts Council

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The Independent Online
IT MAY be unpalatable for Anthony Everitt, former Secretary General of the Arts Council, that the author Richard Witts sees the history of the Arts Council largely in terms of the personalities who have run it and that "he finds only knaves and fools" (Books, ISM, 21 March). But that is the way it is, according to the findings of a recent report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.

His three-year investigation into a complaint against the Arts Council by the Kosh dance company found that the council withheld information unreasonably, failed to observe its own procedural and ethical code, based decisions on incomplete information and disseminated misleading, prejudicial and unjustified information about the company.

Those responsible included the most senior officers and representatives of the council. Just how many other companies, directors and venues are suffering or have been destroyed as a result of the failings of those responsible for decision- making at the Arts Council?

We need to build a radical alternative to this iniquitous, self-serving system. There is talk of the Arts Council reinventing itself. It will need to do much more than that to repair the damage it has done to the arts community.

MICHAEL MERWITZER

Artistic Director, The Kosh

London N7

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