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The Role of the Arts Council in the Events Sector.

Andy Robertson

Commonly called ‘Arts Council’ these publicly funded organisations can be found in most counties in the world with the primary objective of developing and investing in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. How do these organisations contribute to the progression of artists and businesses associated with the events and festival sectors.      

It's difficult for any budding performance artist to get a foothold in the live events sector and Arts Councils are there to help facilitate learning, education, promotion and hosting of events to push all types of arts whether it's music, dance and other less mainstream activities. 

Arts Councils Structure and Support.
Almost all Arts Councils are funded by government bodies or charitable donations without which they could not function. They often have a limited number of full-time staff and rely heavily on volunteers and free of charge venues to host events. They key to their ethos is to promote arts and cultural activities that otherwise would not get access to performance stages. It is not unusual for Arts Councils to have an events team who are often responsible for organising festivals and events mostly linked to local communities. The events teams create and promote their events and are run just like any commercial festival with the logistics of arranging venues and shows and generating revenue from vendors and sponsors. 

Performance Artists. 
Support from an Arts Council can enable up and coming performance artists to gain exposure through an Arts Council organised event. The Arts Councils also invest heavily in training and development enabling any budding performance artists to focus on their artistic potential without the need to hold down a full-time job. The Arts Council of England, for example, even runs a grant scheme where applicants who are individual artists and/or creative practitioners can apply for funding up to £10,000. 

Typical Events. 
Arts Councils organise and run events and festivals for a wide range of subjects including theatre, digital art, dance, music, literature and crafts. In the UK the various Arts Councils work in conjunction with local authorities and cities to organise week long festivals often centred around a ‘city of culture’ theme which showcases local talent across a variety of artistic genres. Whilst most city and local authorities have their own organisational events team structure for running significantly sized arts festival in their region the funding often comes from a centrally based Arts Council. Many arts and cultural festivals in the UK receive in excess of £5m in funding each year. One of the largest such events in the UK is the Edinburgh Fringe and Arts festival that attracts over 500k visitors each year and would be unable to operate without significant funding form an Arts Council. 

For organisers planning their events using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Image by Ionas Nicolae from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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