I note that, on stepping down as Arts Council Chair, Christopher Frayling bemoaned the fact that he was criticised to fiercely at the time of the rather-poorly-managed funding cuts made last year – even by people who were not directly affected. What on earth does he expect? Worse – he seems to equate a lack of respect for the Arts Council with a lack of commitment to arts funding.
Frayling and Hewitt did a fairly good job of obtaining more funding and keeping the Arts Council out of the news during that period (up until the end of their tenure, that is). But let’s not kid ourselves that the Arts Council is somehow above the law. I hope Liz Forgan can be a more humble and courageous promoter of the arts – not worrying about carping from the arts world (hey, what’s the surprise there), nor constant bickering with the Ministers who tend to push their case in Whitehall, but making the case for the arts across Government and the private sector.