In this Autumn issue we feature artists, sculptors, illustrators, writers, photographers, product designers and performers whose work not only contributes enormously to our quality of life but also to the wellbeing and economic health of our own and the wider community. If any endorsement were needed of this contribution made by the creative community, it came during the Summer with the high-profile celebration of the arts and artists hosted by the Prime Minister at Downing Street.
arts in the east
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Many of the artists we feature in Venue are fully self-supporting, but there are also many arts enterprises in the region, also familiar to our readers, which rely on additional funding to carry out the sterling work they do in, for example, bringing a wide range of arts programmes to local, rural venues and to young and disadvantaged people.
At this time, our vibrant regional arts scene is set against the backdrop of Arts Council England’s (ACE’s) latest announcement of its investment programme for 2015–18, which amounts to an investment during that period of £340 million each year in their National portfolio of arts organisations and museums, ie some 670 organisations. Announcing this, Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of ACE, said, ‘We are in the premier league of creative nations and this portfolio will keep us on top in an era of tight funding. We can delight in our arts organisations and museums for the sheer inspiration they bring to our daily lives as well as their contribution to the creative sector. I’m proud that we’ve been able to deliver such a strong and well-balanced portfolio.’
This all sounds good, but there are many that take issue with the way Arts Council funds are delivered. Of course there will always be winners and losers:  that is inevitable. But one question still being asked is whether enough has been done to redress a funding balance that favours London over the
English regions. In defence of this, ACE maintain that national organisations based in London have an impact across the whole country due to their ‘role in artistic development, pioneering digital platforms and touring across England’.
The issues surrounding the distribution of/access to arts funding are widely aired. Probably the only indisputable conclusion to all the discussion is that funding is so complex that no solution will ever be considered fair by all. Many questions are raised: there seem to be no easy answers. What is certain, however, is that arts funding is at the heart of the cultural life of our nation as a whole, and the search for solutions to equitable distribution/access must continue with energy, diligence and political will, with all involved joining the debate in a constructive and positive way.
In addition to our key role of promoting and publicising the work of all arts practitioners in our region, we are supporting four key events this Autumn – the Rheebridge Open Art Exhibition; the 100% Design show; The Cambridge City Art Fair; and Cambridge Original Printmakers.
       
Fran Goss Editor

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Cover: Aerial theatre company Ockham's
Razor
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Cambridge Corn Exchange
(Dec 18–21) with
Not Until We Are Lost.
Photo © Jane Hobson 
            I must say that  it is SO REFRESHING  to find and r
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P1 Venue Cover WINTER 2014.pdf
Venue Winter 2014/15
Out now – avaliable at all good creative outlets
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