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Dateline: 9th November, 2007

The front cover the the repot

Arts Debate - the Report

Between October 2006 and September 2007, Arts Council England conducted The Arts Debate, a public inquiry into how different people value the arts and their views on arts funding in England. The findings from all stages of the inquiry have now been collected in an overall summary report, Public value and the arts in England: Discussion and conclusions of the arts debate, available online from the Arts Council website.

The summary report provides an account of how people think and feel about the arts in England and their priorities for public funding. It explains how the debate has provided a new framework for understanding the public value of the arts:

  • The arts are seen as part of our fundamental capacity for life - enabling us to interpret, adapt and understand the world around us, helping us to express ourselves, communicate with others and broaden our collective horizons
  • The arts enrich our experience of life - they bring colour, passion, beauty and intensity to our lives. They are a source of pleasure, entertainment and relaxation and a means of escape from the day to day
  • The arts offer powerful applications in other contexts - contributing to health and well being, to education and learning, a sense of belonging and community and so to social cohesion and a healthy economy

The report identifies important areas of consensus as well as points of difference. There is widespread support for the principle of public funding for the arts but only if it seeks to achieve certain key outcomes. People would like the Arts Council to:

  • support ground-breaking work that touches the lives of more people in exciting, surprising ways
  • be bold, visionary, transparent, fair and properly accountable
  • continue to foster public debate about the role the arts play in our lives


News Archive A-L
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©Peter Lathan 2007