Arts Council England
75 years of public investment in arts, culture and creativity: Share your #CreativeMemories
As we mark 75 years since our first Royal Charter, we’re sharing our top #CreativeMemories from the last seven and a half decades – and you can share yours too.
Today (Monday 9 August) is the 75th anniversary of the Arts Council receiving its first Royal Charter in 1946. We were born out of the optimism of the post-war era to promote “courage, confidence, and opportunity” in great culture and creativity so everyone could enjoy the benefits they bring whether they are performers, artists, visitors or audience members.
To mark our anniversary we will be sharing iconic moments from the last 75 years that highlight the role public investment has contributed to creating a vibrant and thriving cultural and creative sector in our country. We are also asking you to share your memories of visiting and participating in creativity and cultural activities that have benefited from that investment.
During the darkest days of the Second World War the government set up our forerunner The Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) “to bring pleasure and the highest forms of inspiration” to the millions who were living through the blackout and nightly threat of bombing raids. Just a little over a month VE Day in 1945, one of the last acts of the wartime coalition government was to make CEMA a permanent, arms-length body and give it a new name in the process: The Arts Council of Great Britain. A year later the Arts Council was given a Royal Charter.
View of the Skylon at the Festival of Britain, 1951. Photo © Historic England
Our 75th anniversary comes when the nation is emerging from another time of crisis which has the seen the government invest almost £2 billion in ensuring the survival of the sector, allowing it to be well placed to assist in the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. During the last eighteen months people have found new ways to engage with cultural activities, and have explored their own creativity as a way of maintaining their wellbeing during lockdowns, shielding and self-isolation.
For the last eight decades we have worked closely with government and our partners to promote the benefits that a flourishing creative and cultural sector can provide everyone wherever they live. Throughout those years the Arts Council has evolved and developed while always making sure that culture and creativity remain a crucial part of the lifeblood of our nation. As a previous chair put it: “if we did not have it (the Arts Council) we would have to invent some comparable body to take its place.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, our Chair, has written about the importance of the principle of public investment and what it has meant and continues to mean to the sector, which you can read here. Please note that this article is behind a paywall.
Latest News from
Arts Council England
Over £2.9 million invested in South West projects from Capital Investment Fund11/05/2022 10:20:00
Creative and cultural organisations from the Isles of Scilly to Gloucester, up to Swindon, and over to Gosport, will benefit from a share of £22.7 million, as part of the Capital Investment Programme set out to help more than 60 organisations across the country.
£4.58million invested for Platinum Jubilee celebrations11/04/2022 16:20:00
We’ve just announced £4.58million for 704 voluntary and community organisations to put creativity at the heart of their celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.
Treasured memories sparkle thanks to Derby artist07/04/2022 09:15:00
With support from Arts Council, a Derby-based artist is helping people unlock and share stories of their family and heritage – inspired by jewellery.
£10 million Cézanne painting at risk of leaving UK04/04/2022 10:07:00
A temporary export bar has been placed on Ferme Normande, Été (Hattenville) by Paul Cézanne
More vital support given to over 300 cultural organisations to survive beyond pandemic and protect jobs31/03/2022 12:27:00
£35 million from final round of Culture Recovery Fund has gone to 340 organisations across England
Angelica Kauffman paintings worth £1.5 million at risk of leaving UK28/03/2022 13:22:00
A temporary export bar has been placed on A Pair of Group Portraits of Mr and Mrs Joseph May and their Children by Angelica Kauffman.
Lute music anthologies at risk of leaving UK15/03/2022 10:07:00
A temporary export bar has been placed on an early 17th century manuscript of lute music, containing almost 100 never-seen-before pieces
Cultural Investment Fund: £48 million invested across England14/03/2022 15:25:00
We've just awarded £48 million as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Cultural Investment Fund.