The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Contents
an overview
Support for the arts by public organizations in Britain†ª†ª†ª†ªShinko Suga (Journalist)
Support for the arts by public organizations in Britain†ª†ª†ª†ªShinko Suga (Journalist)
The case of London
Let us take the example of London to see what kinds of activities ACE, the RAB and the regional governments are engaged in and under what kind of policies they are functioning.

ACE (Arts Council of England)
ACE is a non-governmental organization operating with a good degree of independence from the national government. It is operated with the aim of distributing funds from the national government and the national lottery revenue throughout England for the purpose of developing, maintaining and encouraging the arts and making them accessible to the citizens for enjoyment.
The mandate of the ACE under its royal charter includes the following three roles: To further knowledge and understanding of the arts and understand their practical implementation. To make the arts more accessible to the populace. To cooperate with the national and regional governments, the ACW, SAC, ACNI and the related organizations both directly and indirectly and to serve an advisory role for them.
ACE has eight arts departments including dance, theater, literature, music, visual art, regional performance, audience development, broadcasting and new media, and each of these departments is staffed by specialists in the respective fields. Sitting on the ACE committees are active artists from fields like sculpture and literature and system encourages free discussion with artists about how best to distribute funds.
Among the organizations that receive funds from ACE are the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House the South Bank Centre and others, and 30% of the ACE budget is distributed by the RAB. The budget received from the Ministry of Culture in 1999 was £22.7 million.

London Arts Board (LAB)
After its start as a subcommittee of ACGB in 1991, the London Arts Board became one of the ten RAB that went into operation nationwide in 1992. LAB is an agency that supports the arts in London and the surrounding areas and its main role is building the arts infrastructure and encouraging the development of artistic activities in the London area.
In 2000, there were 18 people working in the arts department of LAB, including specialists in the fields of theater, cross-over arts, visual arts, literature, dance and music. After that the staff was expanded to accommodate expanded ACE commissions. On the organization's committee sit representatives from the arts, economics, broadcasting, education and management fields.
The organization's funding comes primarily from ACE and the Craft Council, with the 1999 budget totaling £15.74 million. The LAB makes annual allotments to organizations that range in amount from £5,000 to £50,000 and it is presently supporting some 128 arts organizations and artists and monitoring the results of that support. Compared to ACE, LAB supports middle to small scale organizations and community based arts activities.

Westminster City Council (WCC)
The WCC is a regional government agency with jurisdiction over the central part of London where the largest number of arts organizations are concentrated among the 34 districts of the city and its surrounding area.
Until 1986, support for the arts in the London was conducted by the Greater London Council (GLC), a local government office for the city and its surrounding areas, through its affiliated Greater London Arts (GLA) and the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). However, Thatcher regarded the GLC as a left-leaning body that generally opposed government policy and therefore proceeded to eliminate most of the GLC functions in 1986. This move made it necessary for the local government offices of London and the surrounding areas to quickly pick up the responsibility for supporting the arts organizations that had relied until then on the GLA and ILEA, and that situation continues.
The area of jurisdiction for WCC is the central part of London, which puts it in the unique position where its area includes numerous large-scale art organization that function on a national level as well as organizations that function only in London and local community groups. For this reason, when allotting its art support, the WCC takes into consideration not only the residents of the districts under its jurisdiction but also the people who come to London from other regions
The WCC provides support for organizations that base themselves in the WCC districts, as well as projects and events, educational programs like artists in residence and initiative funds that generate new ideas.
The WCC's budget for 1999 was £1.2 million, and its arts budget is one of the largest in London. This is because the WCC traditionally considers the arts to be important and recognizes the ability of the arts to contribute to the local community by attracting tourists and the like.
The decision to give art support is based on whether the organization or project is related to the local community and whether or not there are requests from people who want to see it. Notices telling how to apply for support at posted at places like libraries. Four or five different times a year, applications are accepted for projects that are planned to be held within the following two to three months.
One of the unique things WCC does is to issue special "less cards" to local citizens or people interested in the arts through an external card company. With this card, people can get discounts of 10% to 50% on tickets for museums or theaters participating in the program. The museum and theaters then bill the WCC for the discounted amounts and the WCC pays for it with arts support funds. Presently about one in four of local residents hold one of these cards and the system is said to be greatly appreciated.

Arts Council of England reference materials
Funds for support for the arts allotted by the government to ACGB/ACE since 1979
1979/80
63,125,000
£ ACGB
1980/81
70,970,000
   
1981/82
80,450,000
   
1982/83
91,300,000
   
1983/84
96,080,000
   
1984/85
101,900,000
   
1985/86
106,050,000
   
1986/87
135,600,000
   
1987/88
139,300,000
   
1988/89
152,411,000
   
1989/90
155,500,000
   
1990/91
175,792,000
   
1991/92
205,000,000
   
1992/93
221,200,000
   
1993/94
225,830,000
   
1994/95
185,990,000
  to ACE
1995/96
191,100,000
   
1996/97
186,100,000
   
1997/98
186,100,000
   
1998/99
189,600,000
   
1999/2000
227,300,000
   
2000/2001
237,300,000
   
2001/2002
252,300,000
   
 
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