Help Me Investigate user Carol Lee has been investigating the way that Cultural Olympiad funding was allocated in Yorkshire, with the results published this week in Arts Professional.
Despite being named ‘Artists taking the lead’, and Arts Council England guidelines stating that projects “had to be artist-led and that local authorities and higher education institutions were ineligible”, the report details “Blatant breaches of funding rules, panel members with vested interests and disproportionate interaction between Arts Council England (ACE).”
“[T]he winning Yorkshire bid was led by Leeds Canvas, a consortium of the city’s major arts providers that included Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery and Studio Theatre, Leeds City Council, and Council-owned Leeds Art Gallery, as well as Opera North, Northern Ballet Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Yorkshire Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Situation Leeds.
“Whereas the other projects shortlisted were proposed by the artists who would lead them, the initial Leeds Canvas proposal was put forward by Yorkshire Dance Chief Executive Wieke Eringa and included neither the names of the artists who would deliver their project nor the details of the artistic concept. Despite this, the bid was one of only five shortlisted to go through to the second stage of ACE’s selection process.”