BLOG Gwen Davies

NWR Issue 103

BBC, Wales and Arts Funding

BBC DG Tony Hall yesterday announced a 'joined up' new commitment to the Arts in Britain: 'I want [BBC] Arts and Music to be as recognised with the BBC, as BBC News is' and a 'global broadcast partnership' with Hay Festival for this spring's jamboree between 22 May and 1 June. Hopefully the BBC are not putting all their Wales arts eggs into the Hay basket, nor neglecting the writing talent displayed by our vibrant publishers. The BBC does now have a formal partnership with the Arts Council of Wales, and via ACW, Literature Wales, but do such networks necessarily tap into the many fine published writers (emerging, established or classic) who are not part of the spoken word/workshop/performance dimension of Wales' literary scene? This situation is partly the result of the shift of literature funding in 2003 from ACW to the Welsh Books Council, with Literature Wales (and Wales Literature Exchange) remaining under the ACW umbrella. The latter is fire-fighting funding cuts and so does not presently have the advocacy role that ACW achieves. But any large corporation with a brief in the arts should make it their business not only to work with other large corporations but also to feel for grass roots. The publishers of Wales have their ear to the ground, where such roots grow.


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