Arts Council chair's valedictory lecture
29 Jan 2009
Held at the Royal Institute of British Architects
Defending the principles and practices of the Arts Council since its origins, 63 years ago, under economist John Maynard Keynes through to today, outgoing chairman Sir Christopher Frayling delivered his valedictory lecture marking the end of his five-year term.
Referring to today’s tough economic climate, he declared that we are all Keynesians again today.
Sir Christopher criticised an obsession with targets by governments of both left and right. He cited public funding of the arts as adding to our national reputation and helping to unlock private money.
He praised the impact of the National Lottery, in terms of increased capital funding, and stated an ongoing suspicion regarding policymakers getting directly involved in arts commissioning.
His wide-ranging lecture also covered the Arts Council’s relationship with the BBC, which he described as currently stalled, as well as the council itself for sometimes being too tentative in seeking due recognition for its funding and impact on arts implementation.