Archive for September 24th, 2009

BBC Increases Drama Budget

24th September 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that BBC2 is raising its drama budget by 50% over the next three years. At the BBC Vision Forum, director Jana Bennett announced the changes.

She added: “I believe the genre needs support. It will be targeted at distinctive, authored series that continue the great tradition of BBC2, with the aim of providing the next generation of television classics.”

In addition, Bennett said investment in BBC children’s programmes would be increased by at least £25 million over three years. …

“It’s our duty to take more risks with new forms and ideas. To commission home-grown content for British audiences. To offer different windows on the world. To be committed to a wide range of genres and subjects – and not just those with guaranteed mass appeal,” Bennett said.

Ireland could do with some of this focus on the importance of home-grown drama.

Arts Campaign Launched

24th September 2009 by Maura McHugh

The National Campaign for the Arts was officially launched yesterday, and was supported by many famous artists, such as singer Mary Black, actress Sara Bolger, comedian Risteard Cooper, singer/songwriter Damian Dempsey, singer Lisa Hannigan, actress and novelist Amy Huberman, writer and director Neil Jordan, and composer Bill Whelan.

During a week in which the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival is kicking off its fifty-first year and an expected half million people around the country will enjoy Culture Night, the Campaign aims to put the importance of the arts centre stage. It calls for the retention of Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide and the Irish Film Board, both of which face closure following the recent recommendations of the McCarthy Report. It also calls for the maintenance of existing levels of arts funding for the Arts Council as well as full representation at senior cabinet level.

The National Campaign for the Arts was established as the first ever umbrella organisation for the diverse arts’ sectors in Ireland and provides a voice for the country’s artists and arts organisations. It petitions to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and welcomes an open debate on the arts as a vital part of contemporary Irish life. Its membership has a national reach that includes major festivals, venues, producers and representative organisations in visual arts, theatre, film, dance, music, literature, architecture and collaborative arts.