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Public funding beneficiaries in Britain

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Several artists who have benefited from Britain's government-sponsored arts programs:

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-- Hofesh Shechter received two grants from the Grants for the Arts program in 2005 and 2006 for the production of the critically acclaimed "Uprising." He went on to set up his own dance company and has recently staged the well-received "Political Mother" at Sadler's Wells.

-- Hisham Matar received grants in 2005 to write his first novel, "In the Country of Men," which went on to receive a host of literary prizes and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2006. He has gone on to a full-time career as a writer. "Both I and my novel are indebted to the generosity of Arts Council England and its enlightened view that writing and writers need to be supported at grass roots," he said.

-- Tamara Rojo is a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet and developed her career in Britain because there was no appropriate alternative in her native Spain. Although invited to return to Spain to set up a new national ballet company, she has declined because of what she regards as an excessive level of government control of arts funding in that country. She has said she won't manage a company in Spain until it creates its own arts council.

-- Grammy winner Amy Winehouse began her career as a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

-- Ryan Gander is a disabled conceptual artist who has been awarded funding from 2004 to 2006 through Grants for the Arts. Before this, commercial interest in Gander's work was limited, but the support allowed him to develop his work through a Grizedale residency and a touring exhibition to PS1, a New York gallery. He has gone on to present at the Tate and the Whitechapel and Ikon galleries, and has won a range of prizes. He has founded a not-for-profit gallery, Associates, which focuses on promoting experimental emerging artists.

SOURCE: Arts Council England


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