10 questions for Arts Council England

Recently, Arts Council England released ‘Let’s Create’, their 2020-2030 strategy. You can access this yourself on the Arts Council website – it’s available in a range of accessible formats.

Equity and the Independent Theatre Council welcome ACE publishing this strategy. We’re pleased that the major funder of England-based companies and artists in our sector has clearly outlined its priorities for the next ten years, and consulted so widely on what those priorities should be.

There’s much to celebrate here. We welcome the commitment to greater support for individual artists and companies traditionally under-represented in the sector, and we’re pleased to see a commitment to confronting the climate emergency with a new requirement that funded organisations make plans to reduce their environmental impact and report on their progress – but there are some areas where we would like to see ACE going further, being more progressive in their ambitions and requiring more of the people and organisations it funds.

Let’s Create is built around three outcomes and four investment principles: how ACE will assess whether or not to invest, and the outcomes it wants to see when it does so. 

The three Outcomes are:

  • Creative People: Everyone can develop and express creativity throughout their life.
  • Cultural Communities: Villages, towns and cities thrive through a collaborative approach to culture.
  • A creative and cultural country: England’s cultural sector is innovative, collaborative and international.

The four Investment Principles are:

  • Ambition & Quality: Cultural organisations are ambitious and committed to improving the quality of their work.
  • Inclusivity & Relevance: England’s diversity is fully reflected in the organisations and individuals that we support and in the culture they produce.
  • Dynamism: Cultural organisations can thrive and are better able to respond to the challenges of the next decade.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Cultural organisations lead the way in their approach to the climate emergency

Later in the year, ACE will release a report into how the priorities outlined in the 2020-2030 strategy will be delivered. Equity and ITC have written to Darren Henley, CEO of the Arts Council, with ten questions as pointers for further consideration on the delivery of Let’s Create. You can read the full letter here.

Equity’s broader arts policy agenda including, short, middle and long term aspirations is contained in Performance for All.