Arts Council England – the Barbican scandal

Arts Council England – the Barbican scandal


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2011

At a time of national cuts, when centres of excellence are having 15 percent sliced off their funding over the next four years, Arts Council England has awarded a massive 108 percent grant increase to London’s Barbican Centre.

Why is that?
Because of its East-of-City role in the 2012 Olympics, apparently.
The Barbican is funded by the Corporation of the City of London. It was never intended to be a recipient of central government funds.
However, its director Sir Nicholas Kenyon is a very persuasive man. He has talked himself onto the board of Arts Council England. He is party to its decision.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon

He leaves the room, of course, recuses himself in ACE jargon, whenever the Barbican is discussed. That’s only right and proper. But Nick is a nice man and everyone wants to be nice to him back. So they vote him a 108 percent increase while he’s out of the room and are rewarded by that great big beaming smile on his return.
No harm in that. Is there?