Funding of the arts and heritage - Culture, Media and Sport Committee Contents


Written evidence submitted by the Association of British Jazz Musicians (arts 71)

1.  INTRODUCTION

  Jazz music is a unique art form. Whilst poetry, art, classical music, drama and dance have on occasion, been expressed spontaneously, jazz stands alone by its use of improvisatory practises as the focal point of music. Within this context there is great scope for individuality and creativity. The engaging vitality of the music stems from the spontaneity of the improvising musician.

2.  THE MARKET FOR JAZZ IN THE UK

  Target Group Index Figures for the year 2004-05 show the audiences for jazz who attended live jazz events annually or watch them on TV or read about them at 14% of the adult population of England, Scotland and Wales.

  The audience for jazz extrapolated from the 2004-05 TGI figures is 6.6 million adults in England, Scotland and Wales.

  The figures of the Taking Part Survey conducted by the Arts Council of England in 2008-09 show that the number of people who actually attend jazz events in England is 2.5 million compared to 3.3 million for classical music and 1.7 Million for opera.

3.  EVIDENCE TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

3.1  What impact will recent and future spending cuts from control to local government will have on the arts at a national and a local level

3.1.1  The funding of jazz

  The Association of British Jazz Musicians has never been in the business of robbing Bryn Terfel to pay Courtney Pine, but comparison of the funding of jazz with that of other art forms is at best unfavourable. In 1991-92 the jazz attenders received 8.5p public subsidy per head and in 2009-10 this had risen to 0.62p, with 2.5 million attenders. Opera received £7.95 per head in 1991-92 and in 2009-10, with 1.67 million attenders, £44.74 per head. Classical music in 1991-92 received £1.66 per head and in 2009-10, with 3.34 million attenders, £41.90 per head. The massive disparity is unjustified as jazz attenders pay their share of taxes and are entitled to a fair share of the arts cake commensurate with the size of the audience, even in these straitened times.

  Table 1 below also illustrates the comparison of the increase in public subsidy per attender: from a low base of 8.5p jazz has risen by 629% to 62p, opera by 462% from £7.95 to £44.27 per attender, and classical music has increased 2424% to £41.90 per attender.

  As can be seen in Table 1, jazz in the UK is underfunded but nevertheless the 12 Regularly Funded Organisations for jazz, through their endeavours with the work of the backbone of UK jazz, the network of volunteer jazz promoters, a number of commercial companies, the musicians who subsidise jazz with low fees, loyal and growing audiences and an articulate jazz press, produce a vibrant jazz scene.

  However, jazz needs financial nourishment. What it has achieved on a bread and water diet is incredible. To reduce that bare necessity could jeopardise a success story. Whilst there is no doubt that jazz will survive, even with a small cut the knock-on effect will be magnified exponentially.

Table 1

PUBLIC FUNDING OF MUSIC 1991-92 AND 2008-09

  Comparison of funding between 1991-92 and 2008-09
2008-09% of adults who currently attend Amount allocated from ACGB opera/music allocation £ Adults who currently attend in millions Subsidy per attender £ Increases (decreases) of subsidy per head %
1991-922008-09 1991-922008-09 1991-922008-09 1991-922008-09
Jazz5.9%6% 230,4001 557 6212.74 2.500.090.62 629%
Opera5.9%4% 21,795,20073 938 123 2.741.677.95 44.27462%
Classical Music11.7%8% 8,640,000140 213 509 5.43.341.66 41.902424%


Source: Arts Council of great Britain Report and accounts 1991-92. Target Group Index. British Market Research Bureau 1991-92. Arts Council England: Review of contribution of Arts Council Funded Organisations to Music Opportunities for Children and Young People Summary Report.

Note: Classical music includes; Contemporary Classical (£37,316,287) Chamber Music (£4,617,028) Early Music (£933,800) Classical Music (£97,346,389)

.1.2 VAT


  Jazz relies on volunteer promoters the majority of whom are not registered for VAT. The increase of VAT to 20% which increases the cost of a night out allied to cuts in ACE and local authority funding could shake up a lethal cocktail.

3.1.3  The multiplier effect

  The multiplier effect of public subsidy on the arts will be diminished. ACE says that a £1 investment produces a £2 return. This will impact both nationally and locally. Small jazz clubs throughout England that rely on very small amounts of subsidy will be adversely affected. Many of these produce a multiplier indicator of £5 to £7.

3.1.4  Cuts could prolong the recession

  There is a real chance that history will repeat itself. In the mid 1980s recession, Geoffrey Howe embarked on a policy of spending cuts and fiscal squeeze (VAT doubled, with pensions, NHS and education cuts) which exacerbated and prolonged the recession. Cuts to the arts can damage the infrastructure in the arts and have deleterious effects on tourism and the export of jazz and under-represented musics abroad.

3.1.5  Commercial funding

  To expect individuals and small organisations to drum up sponsorship is unrealistic. In any event patronage is discretionary and sponsors and partners may withhold support. The arts are still recovering from the effects of the recession. It has not gone away. Cuts will exacerbate in many cases a precarious position, especially in jazz. An ad hoc case in point is that a member of the ABJM carefully selected eight prospective sponsors for a premier of a literature and jazz work at a literary venue in London, sent a proposal and received one reply.

3.1.6  Lower income groups

  Welfare cuts according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies could impact on discretionary income of working families on the lowest incomes—particularly those with children.

  Table 2 below illustrates the social grade of attenders at jazz events. There has been an increase in audiences for social grades C2, D and E. This continuing increase would be threatened by an erosion of disposable incomes in these social groups.

Table 2

  Social Grade
Great Britain Population All Adults Jazz
2002-032002-03 2004-05
Social Grade% %
AB25.131 36
C128.543 32
C220.712 17
DE25.714 15
Total100 100100


Source: Peter Verwey, Target Group Index 2001-02 and 2002-03, summary of Results for England, the English regions, Scotland and Wales. Publisher Arts Council England, October 2003. Marketing Pocket Book 2004. Target Group Index BMRB International 2004-05 Notes: Percentages are based on the sample at the head of each column. For example, 31% of jazz attendees in Great Britain are AB social grade, while 25.1% of all adults in Great Britain are AB social grade.

3.2  What can arts organisations do to work more closely together etc.?

  It behoves arts organisations to look at their operations and effect cost savings. Arts & Business could then produce case studies that might help other organisations. Arts & Business should also look to helping small organisations: their current focus seems to be on large organisations.

  Remuneration of all subsidised arts organisations should be carefully appraised. The notion of vocation seems to have given over to attempting parity with the commercial world, especially with flagship arts organisations. A small point, but the Chair of ACE should be a vocational appointment not a remunerated one. The current Chair's salary of £40,000 might be small potatoes to some people but to small organisations and individuals it is a substantial sum of money.

  Organisations who are artistically aligned could affect mutual ways of working. Some back office operations, websites etc. could be merged and jointly undertaken. Information sharing so unnecessary duplication is avoided.

  Much at this time will be made of mergers and acquisitions. However, there are pitfalls to what at the outset appears to be a seductive notion.

    — Strategic fit—is there a real, honest and genuine strategic fit between the merging organizations?

    — Is there a "cultural" fit between the organizations? What is the management culture of the merging organizations?

    — Studies show that in terms of the private sector, profitability declines and merger activity has not "improved efficiency, but merely reduced competitive pressures on managers and enhanced their prestige and salaries" (Hannah, 1983). The same effects would be experienced by arts organisations.

    — What is the cost of a merger?

3.3  What level of public subsidy for the arts is necessary and sustainable?

  To answer this a rigorous analysis of existing funding and value for money/best value/cost benefit and impact analysis needs to be undertaken.

  If arts management is good enough, people will find a way to continue their work. The crucial component in all this is the lack of analysis and planning by the Government. People in the arts need to be properly and reliably informed so that they can plan ahead.

  This brings to the fore the notion of "privatisation". Perhaps a bold experiment whereby a flagship arts company was "floated off" to see if it did work and if it did not then bring it back to the public sector. Of course if it did work with private patronage then that would supply the ammunition to cut subsidy all together. However the point is that everything should be carefully examined.

  While Arts Council England unfortunately has to stand in the dock and take the rap for underfunding, it is crucially important that the BBC is not left out of the equation. Tim Whitehead, jazz musician, bandleader and composer, stated in an article in Jazz UK (August/September Issue 94, p25): "My career was founded on the early engagements I got through the BBC, so it concerns me greatly that the current rate, as negotiated with the Musicians' Union, which is paid for a three-hour rehearsal and three-hour session—£93—is less than the hourly rate you might reasonably expect to pay a mechanic or plumber. What this says about the BBC's priorities in terms of live music provision is one thing, but I think the whole issue of public service broadcasting—of what the BBC is there to do—urgently need to be addressed."

  Mark Thompson, in the McTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Festival this August, said that the BBC was reducing management numbers by a fifth and cutting the amount paid to talent as a massive programme of change. Perhaps he could also affect with some of the savings a sea change in the remuneration of jazz musicians so that they are properly rewarded.

3.4  Whether the current system is the right one?

  The crucial point is to retain the "arms length" principle from government. There is a strong argument that now would be the time to develop a national policy for the arts and then design the appropriate organisation/system to deliver it.

3.5  The impact recent changes to the distribution of National Lottery Funds will have on the Arts

  The Association of British Jazz Musicians is broadly supportive of the proposed changes to the lottery but it is crucial that additionality is supported and maintained.

3.6  Whether the policy guidelines for National Lottery funding need to be reviewed

  The guidelines need to be reviewed so that Lottery funds do not become an extra source of funding for Arts Council grants. The guidelines should also ensure that small organisations are able to access Lottery funds and that entrepreneurial schemes in the arts are encouraged.

3.7  The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm's length bodies

  The abolition of these bodies could engender a lack of direction and focus that will in turn affect the work, interests and direction of their stakeholders. Before arts organisations are scrapped, a rigorous analysis of the effect of these changes needs to be undertaken so that change can be managed efficiently.

3.8  Whether business and philanthropists can play a long term role in arts funding?

  Business and philanthropy can play an important part providing there is:

    — A coherent plan from ACE/Arts and Business/DCMS for business and philanthropic giving.

    — Tax incentives.

    — A safety net for those organizations, who by the nature of their existence find it hard to attract commercial sponsorship. The money goes to the big large scale organisations who have the departments to lever the money out and the big productions that sponsors like to be associated with.

    — A rigorous study needs to be undertaken as to why sponsors give and perhaps a programme of work is needed to change the culture of business and philanthropic giving.

3.9  Whether there is need for more government incentives to encourage giving?

  Not just tax breaks but some additional funds that could proselytize the work of small organisations who can deliver value to sponsors.

3.10  What can arts organisations do to work more closely together etc.?

  It behoves arts organisations to look at their operations and effect cost savings. Arts & Business could then produce case studies that might help other organisations. Arts & Business should also look to helping small organisations: their current focus seems to be on large organisations.

  Remuneration of all subsidised arts organisations should be carefully appraised. The notion of vocation seems to have given over to attempting parity with the commercial world, especially with flagship arts organisations. A small point, but the Chair of ACE should be a vocational appointment not a remunerated one. The current Chair's salary of £40,000 might be small potatoes to some people but to small organisations and individuals it is a substantial sum of money.

  Organisations who are artistically aligned could affect mutual ways of working. Some back office operations, websites etc. could be merged and jointly undertaken. Information sharing so unnecessary duplication is avoided.

  Much at this time will be made of mergers and acquisitions. However, there are pitfalls to what at the outset appears to be a seductive notion.

    — Strategic fit—is there a real, honest and genuine strategic fit between the merging organizations?

    — Is there a "cultural" fit between the organizations? What is the management culture of the merging organizations?

    — Studies show that in terms of the private sector, profitability declines and merger activity has not "improved efficiency, but merely reduced competitive pressures on managers and enhanced their prestige and salaries" (Hannah, 1983). The same effects would be experienced by arts organisations.

    — What is the cost of a merger?

3.11  What level of public subsidy for the arts is necessary and sustainable?

  To answer this a rigorous analysis of existing funding and value for money/best value/cost benefit and impact analysis needs to be undertaken.

  If arts management is good enough, people will find a way to continue their work. The crucial component in all this is the lack of analysis and planning by the Government. People in the arts need to be properly and reliably informed so that they can plan ahead.

  This brings to the fore the notion of "privatisation". Perhaps a bold experiment whereby a flagship arts company was "floated off" to see if it did work and if it did not then bring it back to the public sector. Of course if it did work with private patronage then that would supply the ammunition to cut subsidy all together. However the point is that everything should be carefully examined.

  While Arts Council England unfortunately has to stand in the dock and take the rap for underfunding, it is crucially important that the BBC is not left out of the equation. Tim Whitehead, jazz musician, bandleader and composer, stated in an article in Jazz UK (August/September Issue 94, p25): "My career was founded on the early engagements I got through the BBC, so it concerns me greatly that the current rate, as negotiated with the Musicians' Union, which is paid for a three-hour rehearsal and three-hour session—£93—is less than the hourly rate you might reasonably expect to pay a mechanic or plumber. What this says about the BBC's priorities in terms of live music provision is one thing, but I think the whole issue of public service broadcasting—of what the BBC is there to do—urgently need to be addressed."

  Mark Thompson, in the McTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Festival this August, said that the BBC was reducing management numbers by a fifth and cutting the amount paid to talent as a massive programme of change. Perhaps he could also affect with some of the savings a sea change in the remuneration of jazz musicians so that they are properly rewarded.

3.12  Whether the current system is the right one?

  The crucial point is to retain the "arms length" principle from government. There is a strong argument that now would be the time to develop a national policy for the arts and then.

  The impact recent changes to the distribution of National Lottery Funds will have on the Arts.

  The Association of British Jazz Musicians is broadly supportive of the proposed changes to the lottery but it is crucial that additionality is supported and maintained.

3.13  Whether the policy guidelines for National Lottery funding need to be reviewed

  The guidelines need to be reviewed so that Lottery funds do not become an extra source of funding for Arts Council grants. The guidelines should also ensure that small organisations are able to access Lottery funds and that entrepreneurial schemes in the arts are encouraged.

3.14  The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm's length bodies

  The abolition of these bodies could engender a lack of direction and focus that will in turn affect the work, interests and direction of their stakeholders. Before arts organisations are scrapped, a rigorous analysis of the effect of these changes needs to be undertaken so that change can be managed efficiently.

3.15  Whether business and philanthropists can play a long term role in arts funding?

  Business and philanthropy can play an important part providing there is:

    — A coherent plan from ACE/Arts and Business/DCMS for business and philanthropic giving.

    — Tax incentives.

    — A safety net for those organizations, who by the nature of their existence find it hard to attract commercial sponsorship. The money goes to the big large scale organisations who have the departments to lever the money out and the big productions that sponsors like to be associated with.

    — A rigorous study needs to be undertaken as to why sponsors give and perhaps a programme of work is needed to change the culture of business and philanthropic giving.

3.16  Whether there is need for more government incentives to encourage giving?

  Not just tax breaks but some additional funds that could proselytize the work of small organisations who can deliver value to sponsor.

September 2010





 
previous page contents next page


© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 30 March 2011