Friday, 28 September 2012

Not bringing arts to the community

What a waste of time that was.

I just talked at the totally immobile face of the director for the local Arts Centre. I wasted 30 minutes of my day doing that. I mourn every second.

But I was led there. She said she was interested in setting up community events. As it turned out, she was interested in where was my source of funding. Unfortunately for her, it's our own pockets.

The deal I offered was the usual home ed. A group of 10 alternative educated kids, aged 11-14, for two hours once a month, using their facilities, picking up the intuitions, skills, and examples of their artists, loving the Arts Centre forever, forging links, becoming great publicists. Providing us all with the satisfaction that we're sending out kids to local colleges to pick up GCSEs and A levels in Arts and specialist crafts, maybe gunning straight for apprenticeships or art schools via their own business on the way. What could be better for our local community to work together, demonstrate commitment and allegiance blah blah blah.

No deal. The Arts Centre policy of installing a CRB-checked officer at all workshops was just the start of a way to say No. The real issue is cash. Home ed kids bring in a measly fifty quid divvied out between paying parents. This falls sadly short of the two hundred and fifty darlings required by the Arts Centre before they even think about letting their artists touch a paintbrush.

There's no shortage of demand on our side. I observed their heritage funded events - free to the clients - are routinely booked up by home educators, long before any other community actually gets to them. With an involuntary pinch of her nostrils she agreed, commenting that in her experience the South London lot were particularly savvy. Apparently they can sniff out a free arts project designed to engage the community long before the community hears about it.

For home educators, it bumps up against that issue we have. Funding.

Unless you come up with an alternative source of funding... Save it, lady. I'm not the person that's going to try. I have no inclination to jump through the hoops my local council would dream up to bung me a few measly quid to spend at the Arts Centre. Neither do I want to be the link person drumming up business, negotiating finance, nor filling in assessment forms.

I'll probably follow the usual home ed route. Try and stitch up something in private and bypass the community arts completely.


Deb said...

Their Loss. At least you tried.

Grit said...

yup, that's what i thought. but i won't give in, there'll be other places. and sometimes we get lucky!