Press & news

Arts Council England takes a tough stand on attacks against freedom of artistic expression

  • 19th Aug 2005
  • Arts Council England

Kim Evans, Executive Director of Arts at Arts Council England, has responded to the misleading statements that have been made about the Arts Council’s decision not to give financial support to the tour of Jerry Springer - The Opera, by restating the Arts Council’s support for the freedom of artistic expression.

“We believe that part of the role of the arts is to generate debate and discussion around sometimes controversial issues. Arts Council England supported the development of the original production of Jerry Springer -The Opera and we are proud to be associated with it. Our decision not to put funds into the tour has nothing to do with pressure from extremist groups. We took the unusual step of considering a grant application from Avalon, a commercial producer, precisely because we believe that Jerry Springer -The Opera should be seen outside London. However, the budgets submitted to us in Avalon’s application did not show a level of financial risk that would justify public subsidy for the tour. Our understanding is that Avalon has not cancelled the tour as a result of our decision. We are delighted that more people will have the opportunity to see the show and take part in the debate.”

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Notes for editors:
Arts Council England
Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts. Every year, it invests over £500 million public funds in the arts in England including funding from the National Lottery. The Council believes that the arts have the power to transform lives and communities, and to create opportunities for people throughout the country.