Written evidence submitted by Hoipolloi
Theatre (arts 179)
Hoipolloi advocates for:
A balanced funding system with public
subsidy as an essential component.
Continued funding for innovation and
experimentation in order to support art form development.
Small arts organisations to be valued
for their dynamism, creativity and flexibility.
Partnership working and peer-to-peer
learning as tools to increase cost-effectiveness.
Arms length funding characterised by
rigorous and transparent decision-making with greater involvement
More flexible funding agreements with
investment linked to specific projects and timeframes.
20% of Lottery funding going towards
Innovative fundraising models such as
crowdfunding to be transposed into the arts.
More incentives and schemes to encourage
1) What impact recent, and future, spending
cuts from central and local Government will have on the arts and
heritage at a national and local level.
Spending cuts will have a significant impact
on the arts.
Depending on the scale of the cuts, up to 25%
of those currently funded by Arts Council England as Regularly
Funded Organisations (RFOs) are likely to lose their funding.
With spending cuts across the board, organisations and individuals
will be faced with an increasingly competitive environment, with
greater numbers chasing reduced levels of funding.
Building based organisations or those dependent
on both Arts Council England and local authorities investment
as part of their mixed economies are likely to feel the impact
of spending cuts particularly strongly. Some venues are already
struggling to offer companies the fees required to cover production
costs, threatening the viability of touring and access to live
work across the country.
In a risk-averse climate, innovation and experimentationthe
bedrock of art form developmentcould be compromised, with
funding being channelled into frontline delivery rather than research
and development. Protecting the latter is vital to the future
health of the arts and wider society. Recognising the essential
role played by small organisations, which are often more dynamic
and flexible, in the wider arts sector is also important at a
time when size might be confused with strength.
2) What arts organisations can do to work
more closely together in order to reduce duplication of effort
and to make economies of scale
Arts organisations are by their very nature
creative and entrepreneurial. Increasingly, they are forming innovative
partnerships in order to achieve their goals. Hoipolloi's next
piece of new theatre will be co-produced by the Barbican Centre
in London and National Theatre Wales amongst othersan example
of organisations of different sizes, scales and locations joining
together in order to deliver a project of the highest quality
with an eye to value for money.
Encouraging peer-to-peer learning and sharing
of knowledge will help to increase cost-effectivenessfor
example, Hoipolloi has been commissioned to create "digital
diaries" explaining how the company has harnessed digital
technology to engage more directly with audiences. These will
be disseminated to others in the sector enabling peers to learn
from Hoipolloi's experiences as they implement their own digital
3) What level of public subsidy for the arts
and heritage is necessary and sustainable
Sustained investment in the arts over the past
15 years has produced a rich diversity of arts activity which
inspires, engages and connects with audiences and participants
of all ages as well as a sector which fuels the creative industries,
helps to generate jobs, contributes towards a wider sense of wellbeing
and is celebrated internationallyall of this achieved on
very modest amounts of funding (the arts budget costs each person
just 17p a week).
Public subsidy levers additional support into
the arts. For every £1 that Arts Council England invests,
an additional £2 is generated from private and commercial
sources. Many organisations have evolved complex mixed economy
models which bring together public funding and private enterprise;
these in turn feed the commercial arts sector and the creative
economy with ideas, knowledge and skills. Maintaining a balanced
funding system with public subsidy as an essential component will
be crucial to the future health of the arts.
4) Whether the current system, and structure,
of funding distribution is the right one
It is essential to have an organisation at arms-length
from the government with a clear responsibility for supporting
art and artists. The McMaster Review underlined the need to involve
artists more in decisions regarding funding distribution while
the McIntosh Report highlighted the need for rigour and transparency
in Arts Council England's decision making around its investment
processthese are both important points for the Arts Council
to consider when deciding how to distribute its funding. The introduction
of more flexible funding agreements which link investment to specific
projects but which recognise the needs, timeframes and strategic
ambitions of each artist or organisation would be welcomed.
5) What impact recent changes to the distribution
of National Lottery funds will have on arts and heritage organisations
Hoipolloi supports the reinstating of the share
of Lottery funding going to the arts, heritage and sport to 20%
each. The company has benefited significantly from Lottery funding
through Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts programme.
Hoipolloi's annual grant, currently c£122k, contributes towards
core costs but does not cover any production or project costs.
The company is dependent on raising funding from a mix of public
and private sources to ensure that it is able to deliver its artistic
ambitions. Since 2006-07, Grants for the Arts funding has played
a crucial role in this, with four significant awards of between
£40k and £150k secured to support a range of artistic,
audience, digital and organisational activities.
6) Whether businesses and philanthropists
can play a long-term role in funding arts at a national and local
The classic business model in the arts since
the 1980s has been a mixed economy, with arts organisations dependent
on an often delicate balance of funding from public and private
sources. Businesses and philanthropists have been a part of this
and should continue to have a vested interest and involvement
in supporting artistic excellence and audience engagement. Rather
than placing undue emphasis on generating private sector funding
via old-style sponsorship packages and donations, Hoipolloi is
interested in how more innovative funding models such as crowdfunding
can be transposed across to the arts.
7) Whether there need to be more Government
incentives to encourage private donations
Incentives could be introduced to encourage
higher tax payers in particular to make charitable donations.
Some of the schemes run by Arts & Business
in the past such as the Pairing Scheme and New Partners programme
were instrumental in encouraging businesses to engage in arts
sponsorship for the first time. It would be timely to refresh
and re-launch these schemes in order to support business investment.
Founded in 1994 and based in Cambridge, Hoipolloi
is supported by Arts Council England as a Regularly Funded Organisation.
From its origins as a small scale touring company, Hoipolloi has
established a strong reputation for making original and refreshing
new theatre work which is toured livenationally and internationallyand
also distributed online. In 2009-10, the company reached around
50,000 people through live performances, workshops and online