6 April 2018
The Society of Authors has responded to Arts Council England’s ‘conversation’ about its strategic direction for the next ten years. This is the first stage of ACE’s consultation on its future strategy, with a more formal call for evidence due later this year.
In this ‘conversation’, which closes on Thursday 12 April, ACE is asking a range of questions around the role of arts and culture in society, the funding priorities for ACE and the key issues for the sector over the next decade.
In our response, we identified authors’ falling incomes, funding for libraries, technology and digital disruption, support for freelance workers, literacy, diversity, and Brexit as some of the main threats and opportunities for the sector. We also stressed the wider benefits of the arts, bookshops, museums and libraries, not just for the economy but in fostering a more empathetic, imaginative and creative society.
We highlighted the following areas where we believe ACE could offer more support for all genres and types of writers, illustrators, translators, poets, scriptwriters and other authors – through grants for works in progress, digital opportunities, skills training, mentoring schemes, funding for prizes, supporting small publishers and producers, supporting authors to make school visits, supporting festivals, and offering greater support to libraries.
We have also reiterated our concerns around the impact of Brexit on the creative industries, saying:
We are positive that British creativity and culture will remain in demand [post Brexit]; however economic uncertainty is damaging to investment in new projects and distribution opportunities for rights holders and their businesses.
We will respond in more depth when the formal consultation stage opens later this year, and we are keen to hear members’ views in the meantime. Do get in touch if you have any ideas which you think should be included in our response.
The ACE conversation is open until Thursday 12 April, and we would encourage all creative practitioners to submit their own responses by signing up here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/haveyoursay