The Contemporary Glass Society (CGS) looses Arts Council Funding
The CGS is deeply disappointed to hear today that it has not been selected as one of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations and therefore has lost all its funding from Arts Council England (ACE).
Since its beginning in 1997, the CGS has grown from an organisation of just 150 members to one with nearly 700. It provides vital services for the glass community, connecting and sustaining its members through its website, publication, mentoring programmes, exhibitions and conferences. They have gone for strength to strength, and this is in part due to the financial stability that being one of Arts Council England’s regularly funded organisations gave them.
The CGS is the largest network of glass makers in the UK, with a dynamic and involved membership and committed management team, so despite this setback they are in a strong position to face the future. There is no doubt, however, that cuts will mean painful change for CGS. Their priority at the moment will be to maintain core services, and they will be looking for other sources of funding, including Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, for which they are still eligible.
ACE has had to make some difficult decisions this year, but cutting £50,000 from CGS seems short-sighted and plainly wrong. In a climate where skills based University courses close every year, and industry of all kinds have as good as disappeared, the CGS is the UK’s most significant organisation promoting Contemporary Glass making and makers to the world. It plays a crucial role in the safeguarding of ancient skills in contemporary arts, and it delivers incredible value for money with its resource and information rich website, its quarterly publication, professional development schemes and internationally important exhibitions and conferences.
The CGS will weather this storm, and is already looking to the future, but a future in which the government seriously fails to provide their arts and heritage with support that they need.
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