Statement from the Arts Council re: the change to the Artist in the Community Scheme budget in 2020 (29th May 2020)
“Since the beginning of the current crisis the Arts Council has been examining and refocusing its plans to take account of the new reality we all face. As part of this process, we have reallocated available 2020 budget including funding for Round Two of the Artist in the Community Scheme into a new suite of programmes designed to sustain the ecology to the end of the year, while also offering support which enables artists to develop work. Informed by recent surveys, new initiatives will include bursaries, commissions, project, professional development and business supports, which we believe are of greater practical help to artists and arts organisations at this time. These initiatives will be open to artists and art organisations working in the field of Arts Participation, as well as all other artform and practice areas, and details of these will be available on our website / newsletter and social media channels.
The distinct role the Artist in the Community Scheme plays is valued by the Arts Council and the budget for Round 1 of the Scheme, the Artist in the Community Scheme Bursary Award, Cultural Diversity Strand and other activity remains intact for 2020.
The Artist in the Community Scheme is managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, on behalf of the Arts Council. Create’s ongoing and expert management of the scheme is acknowledged and appreciated.”
Create notes the decision of the Arts Council with regard to Round Two of the AIC Scheme. We fully appreciate that this decision will impact on the artists and communities currently developing plans for innovative collaborative AIC proposals that take account of the current public health crisis and its likely ongoing environmental and behavioural effects.
We underline that Create’s determination to ensure that collaborative, socially-engaged arts practice, which has a particular urgency and distinctive value at times such as these, continues via the Artist in the Community Scheme and in particular the next round of Awards in 2021.
We also wish to emphasise that we will be using the long-standing trust invested in Create’s expertise by the Arts Council (as referenced in its own statement on this matter) to ensure that we implement our strategy and most especially Goal One of that strategy to “create innovative opportunities and ensure reliable supports for artists and communities to develop and sustain best practice”.