Rosie Millard

The growing revolt against Arts Council England

Faith in ACE – which is increasingly concerned with social engagement over art – is dwindling

‘Venus and Mars’, c.1485, by Sandro Botticelli. Credit: Bridgeman images

The acronym for Arts Council England is rather unfortunate at the moment. The organisation is being accused of many things: being overly close to government, underfunded and blinkered – but nobody thinks it is ace.

Even friendly culture critics are losing patience. As the august arts commentator Richard Morrison recently wrote in the Times: ‘The Arts Council… seems determined to shift public subsidy on to supporting amateurs and community projects.’

‘We are tempted to refuse our ACE grant and not spend so much time box-ticking’

Simple purpose has been replaced by a giant strategy paper, Let’s Create, which seems concerned with how ACE...

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