Every little detail plays a part, Having just a vision's no solution, Everything depends on execution (Stephen Sondheim)
Spread the word: Arts Council England, the body that allocates Government and National Lottery money to arts, museums and libraries, is inviting the public to comment on what its next ten-year mission and strategy should be.
They are calling it a conversation, and say that they want to hear from everyone, not just those people who do go to the theatre or can visit an art gallery, but also those who don't and those who can't.
The 12-week online conversation, alongside some community workshops and a survey, covers the role of arts and culture generally, how the Arts Council should respond to new technology and the changing world, for instance leaving the EU, and how should Arts Council funded projects become more accessible and diverse.
The future landscape is also addressed in terms of ongoing uncertainty in public funding and the development of tomorrow's audiences and practitioners.
When the initial conversation phase is over, work will start on a draft strategic framework.
In the autumn, there will be a "full sector consultation" on the draft, the outcome of which will inform the final strategy and framework to be published next year and implemented from 2020.
This new strategy with updated mission, vision and objectives will guide the hand of the Arts Council for a decade.
There are two primary reasons why public input into the proposed strategy is so important.
First because arts, museums and libraries matter—to everyone.
You wouldn't be reading this if you didn’t have at least an interest in theatre so there will be no preaching to the converted here about the value of the arts, but you can consider this a call to express your views on the direction in which the arts will travel.
The second reason why you should contribute to the conversation is money.
Arts Council England spends your money. Lots of it: currently around £622 million a year.
Its budget for the period 2018–22 provides the National Portfolio Organisations with £409 million a year, which includes £68 million of National Lottery funding. Grants for Arts and Culture has an annual spending capacity of £10 million, and Arts Council England Development Funds (previously called strategic funds) has a figure that fluctuates with National Lottery fortunes which stands at roughly £72 million, having started at a projected £125 million a year.
If you're not galvanised to contribute to the conversation for yourself then do it for your children and grandchildren, and, if you don't have any, then contribute on behalf of those who have no voice.
The time to speak up is now. A decade is a long time to live in cultural vapidity.