Funding Reductions to Impact Diversity

Apr 4, 2011

"If we leave it to mainstream institutions to create work by [minorities], we will be left with a kind of chainstore arts world."

Topher Campbell

As of February 17, 2011,
the U.S. House of Representatives has put forward the FY11 continuing budget resolution which includes a $43.1 million funding decrease to the National Endowment for the Arts, which represents a 25% cut from current funding. As the U.S. arts sector faces a reduction in government funds, it may be interesting to look at perceptions of England's recent Arts Council funding cuts.

On March 30, 2011 the Arts Council of England announced how it planned to cut 15% of its £350m. It was expected that over 1,000 companies would see reduced funding, while funding of approximately 200 companies would be eliminated completely. In addition to the obvious concerns, some are worried how these cuts will impact the arts ecology, which already is predominently white.

In a Guardian article,
"Cutting Diversity in the Arts will Cost Britain Dearly," Topher Campbell, a theater director, writer, filmmaker, and co-founder of rukus!Federation, a BLGBT arts company, outlines a number of concerns including that minority-led theater are most at risk, and cuts to the funding of mainstream companies will result in more traditional repertoire and initiatives, both reducing the chance for theater to reflect a "true portrait of the country."