More arts spaces made a priority for Hammersmith and Fulham

More arts spaces made a priority for Hammersmith and FulhamHammersmith and Fulham Council has hosted an engagement forum event to discuss how best to support and nurture the arts in the borough. The lively Economic Regeneration, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee meeting on March 3rd was attended by local residents, artists and arts organisations, who were keen to focus on accessibility, particularly for groups who might otherwise miss out.

Chair of the committee Ben Coleman said: “It was very encouraging to see how much is already happening in the borough and to get so many ideas about what could be achieved with more hands-on support from the council. This was an important first step for the new administration in developing an arts policy together with residents.”

Sue Fennimore, cabinet member for social inclusion, said that she hoped the council would be able to increase the provision of youth clubs after several years of cuts, as these groups were an important way of getting young people into the arts. This came after the leader of a dance group said that even after-school clubs were unable to host her organisation due to financial pressures.

Attendees also repeatedly stressed the need for more dedicated arts spaces for both making and showcasing work, as well as improved publicity for existing events. This would encourage more people to attend, and make it easier for artists to find each other and collaborate.

Trea Owens, of Albert and Friends Instant Circus, said: “It is great to see the council showing an interest in the arts locally. It’s very clear we need a local champion to recognise the excellent work being done here. This is a fantastic borough for the arts but empty spaces are still very hard to come by for smaller groups.”
The council’s cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Andrew Jones, said that the committee would take suggestions made at the meeting into account as it drew up a new arts strategy for the area in the coming weeks and months.

Published 10th March, 2015

© 2015 Estates IT Limited

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More arts spaces made a priority for Hammersmith and Fulham

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