Following Arts Council England's announcement on Wednesday, 30 March, setting out the new roster of National Portfolio Organisations and accompanying funding levels, the Crafts Council has endeavoured to make an initial assessment of the overall outcome for contemporary craft.
From the published information, there is a range of results for the craft organisations that formed part of the previous RFO portfolio. In general, there appears to be a higher level of investment in a smaller number of organisations including significant uplifts to organisations that include craft within their broader visual arts activity.
There are some notable new additions whose work is entirely focussed on contemporary craft, but also some organisations that will need to replace former Arts Council funds after 11/12.
Joanna Foster CBE, Chair of the Crafts Council said "Clearly there is mixed news for individual organisations in the sector. But, we are sure that the entrepreneurial spirit of the makers, curators, gallerists, educators and craft professionals that have made the profile of craft so strong in recent years will continue. We take this opportunity to applaud the entire sector and the passion and energy which it has invested in craft, to welcome new organisations to the portfolio and to express the hope that organisations that no longer receive regular funding from ACE will find other sources."
Regarding the future funding level of the Crafts Council, Rosy Greenlees commented "The settlement we have received allows us to continue with our work to support the contemporary craft sector, working with the Arts Council and in partnership with other organisations. It is a decrease in our funds, and it will have some effect on what we do, but we will ensure that we minimise the impact on the craft sector. We are already working hard to establish alternative sources of income and will continue to do so over the coming months."
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