- The Stage - https://www.thestage.co.uk -

Arts Council of Wales plans to make culture ‘central to the life of the nation’

Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre. Photo: Billy Stock/Shutterstock

Arts Council of Wales has pledged to diversify and strengthen its cultural sector, as part of a plan that includes investing in work by under-represented artists.

It is part of the organisation’s corporate plan for 2018 to 2023, which sets out its priorities for the next five years, in order to make “the arts central to the life and well-being of the nation”.

These include reaching “more widely and deeply into all communities across Wales”, and strengthening the arts’ “capability and resilience”.

Arts Council chair Phil George said the plans were needed to tackle the “brutal fact” that “too many people are effectively denied the opportunity to enjoy, take part or work in the arts”.

To achieve its aims, the funding body has promised to increase investment in work by black, Asian and minority ethnic artists, disabled people and those working in the Welsh language.

It also said it would develop a strategy for arts and health.

The Arts Council has previously backed a greater role for the arts in improving health [1], and last year struck an agreement with the Welsh NHS Confederation to promote the benefits of culture to health and well-being.

Welsh Arts Council unites with NHS to promote health benefits of culture [2]

Other pledges include campaigning for greater diversity within the arts workforce and its governance, as well as expanding its work with children and young people and supporting Welsh work abroad.

Arts Council chief executive Nick Capaldi said: “We’ve worked hard to dispel the myth that the value and benefits that the arts bring are limited to an exclusive minority. But the evidence shows that in spite of some success, we’re still not doing enough.

“There are still too many barriers that impede people’s access to the arts. Breaking down those barriers – cultural, social or economic – will be one of our defining priorities over the duration of the this plan, as well as continuing to champion excellence and encourage the best in the arts in Wales.”