How Can Arts Council best support the theatre sector?

Leroy Philbrook, 2 October 2012

My Name: Leroy Philbrook

Who Attended the Session?

Sam Freeman, Ross McCall, Mark Smith, Ali Duncan, Holly Wilson, Alika Chapple, Tom Hosker, Martin Harris


Many of these notes will be suggestions that the Arts Council could take forward either leading or facilitating in some way. For ease of notation I will not repeatedly write the “Arts Council Should do … ” but this is implied.

One Artist felt that the Arts Council had a very difficult Job and asked how the Theatre Sector could help the Arts Council?

The development of a National Data Collective Visualisation and Analysis of Box office

Data and audience Data from across the country to share ideas.

It was noted that current Grants for the Arts guidance can be scary and daunting, especially for new or emerging artists.

Touring is a broken model and touring can't be done without subsidy.

There is a “glut” of touring theatre companies that have been around for 10-15 years and fall into a Gap between “National Treasures” and new and emerging artists.

Where is the support for these organizations?

Mid-Career theatre companies could be linked up to emerging companies in formal mentoring programmes.

Northern Stage @ St Stephens and Escalator where highlighted as really important projects that are supporting the sector. It was suggested that Northern Stage programme could be a wider representation of the North in the future.

Could there be one place on the web where artists could find everything they needed?

Arts Council has a Key role to play in Advocacy and in Brokerage, connecting people and companies. This is about ACE having the knowledge and expertise to connect the right people at the right time. This networking could be facilitated by a website i.e. a “Gumtree” for the Arts.

Sharing and reusing resources is going to become more and

More important and NPO should have a responsibility for sharing resources with the non-regularly funded sector.

Help for new emerging companies to find rehearsal space.

As well as Funding and Advocacy role it is important for ACE needs to get better at promoting the Arts in England and promoting itself. Suggestions: billboard campaign about how ACE funded work has affected your community; public campaign promoting the value and the necessity of the arts; ACE should get better at promoting the Value of the Arts to the general public; High impact public campaigns i.e. 1 million people have seen x funded by ACE.; The economic driver for public investment in the arts was highlighted as important.

ACE needs to Trust regular funded organisations to do the art and “stop changing the priorities and goal posts”

Better use of Digital technology in providing quality advice for Grants for the Arts applicants.



online tutorial

video tutorials through the space or YouTube

advice and guidance through twitter or Facebook


arts council, ACE, Arts Council, Arts council, Funding; Grants for the arts; support; theatre sector; advice and guidance