Public debate will examine the future of the arts in Darlington

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THE future of the arts in Darlington will be debated at an event on Tuesday (May 27) as part of the town's second arts festival.

Entitled The Future for Arts and Culture in Darlington: The Festival Debate, the event takes place at The Forum Music Centre, in Borough Road, at 6.30pm.

Organised by Darlington for Culture (DfC) and supported by Creative Darlington, this is a free event, and anyone is welcome to come along on the night.

Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, will chair the debate, with an expert panel comprising DfC chairman John Dean, Allison McKay from The Forum, Miranda Thain from Theatre Hullabaloo and Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council's cabinet member for the arts.

There will also be full audience involvement, so the discussion promises to be a lively one.

Mr Dean said: “We hope that this will be a thought-provoking debate. It takes place at a time when public subsidies are being radically cut back and arts organisations are taking an ever-more proactive approach to planning and programming.

"These are times of drastic change and we hope that our debate will reflect the challenges being thrown down.”

DfC secretary Matt Roche, who has organised the event, added: "It feels like the important role of arts and culture in our town is increasingly understood.

"However, despite collective efforts to support the arts to flourish, the conditions for this remain fragile and their are many challenges ahead.

"By coming along and taking part in the debate local people can demonstrate how important they feel culture is to Darlington and offer their own opinion about the future."

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Comments (3)

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2:39pm Thu 22 May 14

DarloXman says...

My tuppence is that all future "Arts" projects should be self financing and should not require any subsidy from the tax payer - either through Council Tax or through any Government funding.

If you want to do something, pay for it YOURSELF! No one pays for my interests so I don't see why I should for anyone else's!
My tuppence is that all future "Arts" projects should be self financing and should not require any subsidy from the tax payer - either through Council Tax or through any Government funding. If you want to do something, pay for it YOURSELF! No one pays for my interests so I don't see why I should for anyone else's! DarloXman
  • Score: 5

2:50pm Thu 22 May 14

Madadrian says...

Quite agree. There is no reason why council tax payers who have among them some of the poorest in the country should subsidise fun for the more affluent. I'll include the subsidised sport, theatre and leisure centre in that too.

When the council can see fit to charge the unemployed council tax while lashing out money on fun and games and their own salaries it is time we called a stop to the gravy train.
Quite agree. There is no reason why council tax payers who have among them some of the poorest in the country should subsidise fun for the more affluent. I'll include the subsidised sport, theatre and leisure centre in that too. When the council can see fit to charge the unemployed council tax while lashing out money on fun and games and their own salaries it is time we called a stop to the gravy train. Madadrian
  • Score: 3

4:31pm Fri 23 May 14

Spy Boy says...

Some people seem a little confused at exactly how the arts are funded. Darlington's Arts Centre was closed, cutting off the arts to everyone. The range of arts once available was great for the town and, despite what Bill and Ada and Nick "Wheelie Bin" Wallis say, it didn't actually cost that much. If they had an ounce of expertise the Arts Centre could have been run at a profit. Unfortunately, the council are so dim that they subjected it to a death by 100 cuts and started to rubbish it just so that they could sell it. Two years later it is still not sold and is rotting away. Security cameras etc are still costing the ratepayers, but with no way of getting money back.
Some people seem a little confused at exactly how the arts are funded. Darlington's Arts Centre was closed, cutting off the arts to everyone. The range of arts once available was great for the town and, despite what Bill and Ada and Nick "Wheelie Bin" Wallis say, it didn't actually cost that much. If they had an ounce of expertise the Arts Centre could have been run at a profit. Unfortunately, the council are so dim that they subjected it to a death by 100 cuts and started to rubbish it just so that they could sell it. Two years later it is still not sold and is rotting away. Security cameras etc are still costing the ratepayers, but with no way of getting money back. Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

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