Greenwich Dance is to release a one-off special of its popular podcast Talking Moves, Arts Funding in Crisis with Nicholas Hytner and Tarek Iskander on Friday 28 July 2023 on its Digital Stage.
Fronted by CEO and Creative Director of Greenwich Dance, Melanie Precious, this one-off episode explores the current funding climate for professional and community arts in the UK, following Precious’ response to Hytner’s proposal for a new way to fund the sector.
It is hoped that by having leading figures come together to discuss the challenging funding climate in an open and honest way, the sector can find new ways of working and unlock funding streams that will allow the UK’s world-leading arts scene to continue to flourish and actively engage people with high quality artistic work for years to come.
Nicholas Hytner is Co-Founder of the Bridge Theatre and the former Director of the National Theatre from 2003 – 2015. He has directed a number of award-winning productions at both theatres and in the West End and on Broadway. Tarek Iskander is Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre. His previous roles include Director of Theatre at Arts Council England, Resident Director of the National Theatre Studio, and one of the founders and Associate Artistic Director of the Yard Theatre.
Greenwich Dance, like many other arts organisations, is facing a perilous economic situation. The organisation has not received any project funding from Arts Council England since 2019 and its longstanding funding from the Royal Borough of Greenwich was recently not renewed. All of this is set against the backdrop of the current cost-of-living crisis, rapidly rising inflation, and recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
With the generous support from the local community, a successful Crowdfunder campaign has ensured its planned dance classes can continue for the year, while support from the National Lottery Community Fund, Royal Greenwich Festivals and Peabody allowed its Summer in the Park festival activity to be delivered to thousands of people across South East London this summer.
Now Greenwich Dance is looking to new models of funding, holding conversations with potential corporate sponsors and is actively looking for Art Angels, those in a position to help support its work through philanthropic giving. For anyone interested in becoming an Art Angel please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melanie Precious, CEO and Creative Director of Greenwich Dance commented; “Things are really tough for Greenwich Dance at the moment. Being unable to access funds from Arts Council England, seemingly because of the levelling up agenda, and having lost our longstanding project funding from the local council we are facing a huge struggle. I am so proud of our work that supports communities of residents, artists and young people across South East London. The last thing we want in our 30th year is to see three decades of work disappear. While we explore other models of funding to support our long term plans, we are calling on those in a position to support us to become Art Angels, to invest in our work and allow us to continue for years to come and not become another casualty in our sector.”
For 30 years Greenwich Dance has been at the centre of participatory dance and artist development across South East London. In recent years it has established a number of successful projects from its Dance for Wellbeing classes to its free Summer in the Park festivals and its ArtsUnboxed platform to share dance works across the UK in a sustainable way. The organisation remained active throughout the pandemic, delivering online classes, doorstep performances and outdoor socially distanced activities, to keep people moving and help tackle feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Launched as part of Greenwich Dance’s digital stage in response to the pandemic, Talking Moves has since welcomed 60 artists to discuss an array of topics across 30 episodes of lively discussion about dance. With over 6,000 downloads to date in 27 countries worldwide, the podcast gives a unique insight into the industry, putting artists centre of the debate and providing an opportunity for their voice and ideas to be heard.