Prestige Arts Venues – What’s the Creative Cost?

Are we spending too much money on ‘official’ arts venues and creating spaces in which only ‘officially sanctioned’ work can take place? I’ve just found out that the Cornerhouse gallery in Manchester is being merged with the Manchester Library Theatre as a “major contribution to the arts in Manchester, the UK and internationally”.

I’m increasingly worried that radical and alternative voices are not going to be heard in the UK, as a more corporate approach is imposed. Is it right that the first question that an artist is asked about their work is how does it enhance the ‘brand’ of a city or venue? This kind of thing is great for the prestige of the city leaders, but there’s always a line drawn that defines the ‘insiders’ and the ‘outsiders’. I wonder who the new outsiders are going to be?

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