The growing concern and gloom about the proposed closure for at leasts two years of the Fairfield Halls has made no impression on Croydon’s Culture Cabinet member Timothy Godfrey. Everything is rosy according to his report to the Council meeting on Monday 7 December.
Arts Council England Director visit
‘A visit from the Director of the Arts Council is planned in early December to showcase Croydon’s vision for culture as a driver for regeneration and the opportunities being developed in Croydon and to discuss joint initiatives and funding opportunities. I hope that this will lead to a strong, positive relationship with the Arts Council. It is, of course, also vital that organisations in the borough put in regular funding bids to the Arts council in order that we can up the number of successful awards overall. Library attendance Visits to our libraries continue to rise – by 12.74% (178,568 visits) in October and we saw a 15.66% increase in the number of new members. Library activities attendance for October 2015 was 41% up on Oct 2014. I am delighted that part of this success was a rise in Under 5s attendance; 5,076 under 5s attended events across our libraries in October 2015.’
That visit has already taken place and there is a photo of the Director, Cllr Godfrey and Kevin of RISE Gallery on the Historic Croydon Facebook – with comments by Fairfield Halls Chair of the Board of Trustees Kate Vennell and me:
There does not appear to have been an attempt to ensure he met a wider group involved in the Arts Network. So another top—down exclusive initiative by the Council. The Network will need to consider seeking a meeting with the Arts Council Director to put him more fully in the picture about the reality of the arts and culture scene.
Cultural Education Partnership
‘Croydon Music and Arts Croydon Music and Arts, Fairfield Halls and Croydon Council Youth Arts have been awarded funding from A New Direction, the Arts Council England Bridge Organisation, to form a local Cultural Education Partnership. Through advocacy to peers, schools, the council, third sector organisations and the business community across the Croydon, we aim to put Croydon’s youth voice at the fore-front of decision-making as Croydon undergoes a dramatic period of regeneration. They will support the council’s vision of making the borough a cultural destination as Croydon is transformed into a place that can accommodate the needs of the growing population, through building creative opportunities for the younger generation and reinforcing a sense of pride in Croydon.’
Good luck to the Partnership but it will be all to easy for it to only go through tokenism with ‘the third sector’.
Godfrey’s summary of the Fairfield Halls decision tells us nothing new.
His full report can be seen at