Saturday, 2 November 2013


Short and sweet this week, but of newsworthy comment are the plans of Narendra Modi, the chief minister in the state of Gujarat, to commission the worlds tallest statue, at an estimated cost of £200 million!  The 182 meter cement and steel, bronze-clad effigy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first leader after independence, is due to be completed in 4 years time. 

The number of poor families in Gujarat's villages have risen by at least 30 per cent over the last decade, going by the state government's own data, and with hours to go before Modi laid the foundation stone for the statue, the Gujarat Police foiled a protest due to take place at the site. The protesters were villagers from 66 tribal dominated villages located near the Sardar Sarovar Dam where the statue is to be built. They had planned to protest during the foundation laying ceremony. The coordinator of the protest, Rohit Prajapati, is now claiming that he is being kept under house arrest.

Whoever said big wasn’t beautiful...?

...talking of which! News coming in from the golden streets of London.

Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital, an evidence-based report addressing the balance of arts funds between London and the rest of England. The report has been produced – independently and at their own expense – by Peter Stark, Christopher Gordon and David Powell. The research reveals the extent of bias towards London in public funding of the arts provided by taxpayers and National Lottery players throughout England.
  • 15% of the population of England lives in London.  In 2012/13, Arts Council England (ACE) distributed £320m of taxpayers' money to the arts with £20 per head of population(php) allocated in London against £3.60 php in the rest of England.
  • In the same year the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) distributed £450m of public funds from the same source directly to major 'national' cultural institutions with - the report estimates - £49 php in London against £1 php in the rest of the country
  • In total in 2012/13 taxpayers from the whole of England provided benefit to London of £69 php against £4.60 php in the rest of the country.
  • A pattern of public funding that favours London has existed since the foundation of the Arts Council. A trend to enhance the imbalance has been consistent for at least 30 years.
  • During this period successive Governments and Arts Councils have acknowledged the imbalance but argued that it would need a significant new injection of funds to enable redress.
  • Since 1995, Arts Council England has had stewardship responsibility for - and has distributed - £3.5 billion of 'new and additional' funds for good causes in the arts from the National Lottery.
  • The report argues that funds from the National Lottery - derived disproportionately from the less well off in society - carry a different ethical mandate for the Arts Council: this suggests at least geographically proportionate distribution based on size of population.
  • In fact, Arts Council distribution of its £3.5bn of new Lottery funding has provided benefit to London of £165 php against £47php in the rest of England over the 18 years of the Lottery to date.
  • Last year's figures, combining taxpayers' and lottery players' funds distributed by Arts Council England show benefit to London of £86 php against £8 php in the rest of England a ratio of over 10:1.
  • One way to begin redress would be to allocate London its fair 'per capita' share of arts Lottery funding, for an initial five year period.
  • The 'core' treasury funding of arts organisations and cultural institutions in London would not be affected. Funds available to London overall would reduce by just over 10%. Cultural production outside London could then benefit over the five years by a total of £600m. This is still less than the cost to the Lottery of the Millennium Dome.
Click on the gold for more details

Dementia and Imagination...
I could do with your help. If you have a moment and explicitly, in terms of the Visual Arts, would you email me with your answers/thoughts to these simple questions? 


* How can the visual arts impact on people with memory loss?

* How can Visual Art appreciation/engagement affect the symptoms of memory loss?

* What evidence do we have to ‘prove’ any of this?

* How can Visual Artists inspire and enhance the lives of people with memory loss? 

* How can Visual Artists challenge the stigma associated with memory loss?

Thank you for this. Who needs survey monkey's anyway?

Maybe an obvious tribute, or perhaps reflections on a personal perfect day...

Collective Encounters Company Stage Manager Required
Fee: £3470
Based in Liverpool Collective Encounters is a national company specialising in theatre for social change. The company has recently been commissioned by National Museums Liverpool to deliver the drama element of the House of Memories Museum training for social care staff working with people living with dementia. The play will be written and directed by Sarah Thornton and will include elements of audience/performance interaction. We are now looking for a Company Stage Manager to support a tour of the piece to venues in the Midlands and Liverpool. Contract period: 3 weeks rehearsal week beginning – 16th December, 6th January, 13th January. 14 performances (between the period January – March 2013) – dates for these have been confirmed.

To apply send your CV by 1st November to or call 07811175095 for more information.

This little blog may be quieter than usual over the next few weeks, but please check for the smallest updates, as I travel to Australia for the 5th Annual International Arts and Health Conference. 

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