#Arts & Entertainment
Arts Council of Wales

CPR - ‘the Aberystwyth-based powerhouse of international theatre’ (The Guardian)

• Wales, February 2008 - The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) notifies its intention to cut CPR’s revenue grant as from July 2008 in a letter in which ACW cites budget pressures and need to ‘focus funding on front-line activity’.

• 2007: ACW’s own evaluation of CPR: “a vital and prestigious player in the arts in Wales, whose history, experience, and present interests are important to mobilise into the challenges of new resources for drama theatre and performance, centring now in Wales on the development of a non-building based national theatre.’

• As a meeting place, for ideas, exchange and discovery, CPR work is deeply rooted in Wales and also reaches nationally and internationally to promote innovation, experimentation, and process in theatre and performance. For over thirty years it has offered access at all levels to innovative training programmes and approaches to making theatre alongside programmes of high quality presentations and performances from around the world that pursue ideals of accessibility without artistic compromise; sharing with practitioners and audiences the ideas and skills of the best theatre practitioners from across the world.

• CPR’s ‘pioneering activity’ across a complex matrix of ‘front-lines’ – artistic, philosophical, political, intellectual, cultural, geographical, disciplinary, sectoral, practical, theoretical, ecological, environmental, social - over many years has been extraordinarily instrumental in raising the visibility of Wales worldwide (now is not the time for CPR to be modest about its achievements).

• CPR has achieved much and has much more yet to do but due to budget saving is to be summarily dismissed at the very moment ACW is establishing an English-language National Theatre for Wales on a federal basis, and also launching its draft consultative art form strategy; for each of which it desires innovation, an international perspective and a rigorous training policy. CPR’s work, achievements and forward plans match the strategic and capacity-building aims of ACW and an outward-facing Wales; so sharply calling into question ACW’s intention to cut CPR.

• ACW’s alternative suggestion that CPR apply to ACW’s - rapidly depleting – competitive project fund takes into account neither its own caveat that only one project award is allowable per organisation per year, nor the practical and very real consequence of its own revenue-cutting decision that no CPR staff can be retained to either develop or deliver such projects.

• CPR needs continuity of enterprise, not wholesale redundancies of an efficient and already skeletal team and consequent loss of their experience and know-how.

• ACW’s intended funding cut to CPR is contrary to the assurance given in October 2007 by Wales Minister of Heritage, Rhodri Glyn Thomas that there would be no cutbacks in funding to arts outside Cardiff (Capital of Wales). An assurance given on seeking a further £13.5 million pounds from the Wales Assembly Government to save the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. The current revenue grant of CPR at £118,300 is 0.875% of 13.5 million pounds.

We, the undersigned, urge the Arts Council of Wales to reverse its decision to withdraw CPR’s revenue funding.

In so doing we wish to underline the continuing significance of the organisation’s work as a progressive and nourishing force nationally and internationally in the practical development and understanding of theatre and performance.

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The Save the Centre for Performance Research (CPR), Wales petition to Arts Council of Wales was written by CPR and is in the category Arts & Entertainment at GoPetition.