Arts Council England
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Great art for everyone - Arts Council England announces its ambitious plan for the arts

Arts Council England today (18 September 2008) announced its ambitious vision for the arts over the next three years, setting out its priorities for the future in the Arts Council Plan 2008-2011.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: "Our mission for the next three years, ten years and beyond is clear and unequivocal. It is great art for everyone.

"We set the conditions in which excellence and ambition can flourish; we make sure as many people as possible can experience the great art that is produced.

"To achieve that mission we must, as the founder of the Arts Council said, 'give courage, confidence and opportunity' to artists and their audiences. And to do that, we must have courage and confidence ourselves."

The mission and priorities have been shaped by the Arts Debate, the largest programme of consultation and research ever carried out by the Arts Council, which involved artists, arts organisations, partners and audiences.

The Plan is also informed by the McMaster Review of excellence in the arts, the Government's Creative Britain strategy and the McIntosh review of the Arts Council's latest investment strategy.

Between 2008 and 2011, the delivery of Arts Council England's central mission of 'great art for everyone' will drive all the work that it does. The Council will achieve its mission through the regular funding of nearly 900 arts organisations, and its investment in hundreds of individual artists and smaller arts organisations through the Grants for the arts open application programme. And the Arts Council will lead a campaign to encourage the broadest range of people across England to experience and enjoy the arts, working with broadcasters, arts organisations, public bodies and commercial partners.

The Arts Council Plan has five overriding national objectives, by which the Council's own performance will be judged. They are:

1. Excellence - high quality art and arts experience
2. Reach - more people attending and taking part in the arts
3. Engagement - more opportunities for people to get involved with arts
4. Diversity - arts that reflect the diversity of contemporary England
5. Innovation - artists have the freedom and are challenged to innovate

The Plan also identifies four development priorities for the next three years, which are to:

. use digital technology to connect with audiences in new and exciting ways
. improve the reach and effectiveness of visual arts provision
. make sure children and young people grow up with a strong sense of the possibilities the arts give them
. realise the opportunity offered by the London 2012 Olympics to enrich the artistic life of the nation

The next three years will also bring significant internal change for the Arts Council. In order to achieve the target set by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of reducing administrative costs by 15 per cent, and to achieve its ambition to become a more efficient and transparent organisation, Arts Council England will conduct a major review of its organisational structure, management and operations. Decisions will be announced in June 2009 and implemented by April 2010.

The Arts Council Plan is available online on a dedicated website and in print by request.

For more information contact:
Louise Wylie, Director of Media Relations, Arts Council England
020 7973 5528 / 

To request a printed copy of the Arts Council Plan contact Nick Adams
020 7973 5549 / 

Notes to editors

1. Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives.

As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts.

Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.

Between 2008 and 2011, we will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government and a further £0.3 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

2. For more information about the Arts Debate go to:

For more information about the McMaster Review go to:

For more information about the Creative Britain strategy go to: 

For more information about the McIntosh review and the Arts Council's response, go to:


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