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Largest Cash Injection Ever Heralds Bright Future for the Arts

LONDON.-Artists and art lovers can celebrate today after Arts Council England, South East announced a massive increase in funding for the arts in the south east – the largest cash injection ever. The total investment in the south east region between 2008 and 2011 is more than £43 million - a 3-yr increase of £1,377,673 or 10.2%.

A total of 57 south east arts organisations have learned they are set to receive a boost of more than £1.3 million over the next three years, as part of the Arts Council’s latest funding round.

The announcement forms part of the Arts Council’s nationwide vision for the future of arts funding, amounting to an investment of £1.3 billion across England between 2008 and 2011. The strategy is designed to shape and support an arts sector in the south east committed to delivering excellent art to the widest range of people, and one empowered to take artistic risk.

An exciting range of organisations are in line to benefit, lighting up the region with carnival, festivals, theatre, dance, literature and music.

Felicity Harvest, Executive Director at Arts Council England, South East, said: ‘All of the organisations we support share a common goal: a passion for making the best art available to the widest possible audience.

‘Our investment in the south east’s thriving arts environment plays a major role in making the region such a vibrant place to live and visit. The future of the arts looks bright in the hands of these fantastic arts organisations and we look forward to supporting them in producing excellent, inspiring work for audiences across the region to enjoy.’

It’s fantastic news for gallery goers, who will be delighted that award winning Pallant House, the contemporary art venue in Chichester, the internationally renowned Modern Art Oxford and the Milton Keynes Gallery all receive an increase in funds.

Theatre lovers can look forward to exciting and groundbreaking touring productions from RIFCO (Reduced Indian Film Company), Forest Forge and the much-loved Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company, who are currently delighting young audiences at schools and village halls across the region with The Delicious Revenge of Princess Ruby Slippers.

Brighton-based disability arts organisation Carousel, which recently bagged two awards at an international film festival and whose work supports learning disabled artists to make their creative ambitions a reality, has also received an unprecedented 400% increase.

Other organisations celebrating a cash windfall range from Music for Change, which has recently brought African and Creole rhythms to the streets of Canterbury, to Southampton-based Artswork, which inspires young people to succeed through the arts.

Six other organisations are in line to receive Arts Council England regular funding for the first time. Winchester’s Hat Fair is the longest running festival of street arts, which this year will be able to offer revellers an even greater spectacle thanks to Arts Council investment. Also celebrating the news of a three-year funding agreement is Hofesh Shechter, the multi-award-winning choreographer and leading light of the dance world, who last year achieved international acclaim for his new work for male dancers In your rooms.

New Arts Council England Chief Executive Alan Davey said: ‘This has been the most far-reaching review of public funding of the arts in the history of the Arts Council and the first we have conducted as a single national organisation.

‘It creates a real climate for excellence and innovation in the arts and I am excited by the prospect of working with the arts sector to make our vision a reality.’

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