The Arts Council England and a group of local councils and large businesses, called The New Local Government, will be streaming a speech by Sir Peter Bazalgette about local authority support for art and culture on Wednesday the 13th of April from 10:30AM. If you’re interested, this is the link to watch the speech delivered live.
We are particularly interested in this speech as the only practical support and financial support KATFM has received to date has been from local government leaders. The Arts Council is a fantastic national programme for the Arts, but it seems too big and too far away for a tiny not-for-profit group like ours to reach. Nothing compares to the ability to pop round for a cup of tea and a chat about how our local leaders can help our Arts project survive and grow.
It’s with pride and great joy that we can look back and say this was an idea that a group of working musicians, dancers, film makers, writers and other creatives started with zero funding and managed to hang on to our first anniversary in the Ashford Arts Centre. How odd then, to come across an article about local government and its future role in supporting Arts and Culture, when several elected officials will be coming this week to tour our centre, watch a brief movie made in-house about the evolution of the project and have an informal discussion, over tea and coffee, about how Ashford Borough and Kent County Council AND the Mayor, may be able to help us continue to grow from strength to strength, but this time, with proactive support from local government.
After reading about the inward investment of the Big 8 companies in Ashford, I saw an opportunity to bring business and local government together in order to make Ashford town centre a more attractive place for families to visit. We have already outgrown our little centre and I hope to move into the Ashford People’s Theatre, similar to the one in Camden. There are a few possible sites for this to happen.
We don’t need anything fancy, just a village hall in the town centre.
After celebrating how far we’ve come with so little, we’ll share our vision for the future here in Ashford town centre. Ashford is Fantastic!
Be sure to tweet your thoughts on the speech. If you’re working in the Arts, this should concern you, because it concerns you.