|Althea Efunshile. Photo from Arts Council England|
In a speech at the programme launch of the EFG London Jazz Festival, Althea Efunshile, Deputy Chief Executive of Arts Council England, gave out some selective data, which represents - as far as we are aware - the first meaningful sector-wide statistics for funding since the announcement in July 2014 that Jazz Services was having its ACE support withdrawn.
The chosen statistics do serve to illustrate some recent trends. NYJO, NYJC, Jazz Refreshed and Brownswood all joined the National Portfolio from the 2015-6 year, and there has also been an increase in grants paid directly to musician-promoters. The key paragraphs from Efunshile's speech illustrating this were:
"At the Arts Council, as well as our growing investment in jazz in our current National Portfolio, we’ve also increased the value of our Grants for the Arts awards for jazz by more than 250% since 2012. In the current year to date, jazz projects have received more than £417,000 through Grant in aid.
"In the last two financial years we have awarded £1.2m of strategic touring funds to jazz related projects – a tenfold improvement on the £120,000 invested in the previous two years."
The speech singled out Serious, the hosts of the event, for particular praise, and also mentioned some other funded organisations:
"Organisations like the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors are being supported through our Catalyst programme to help bring in donations and sponsorship. While Jazz Re:freshed is taking our talent to an international stage, with International Showcasing funding. Organisations like the National Youth Jazz Collective are doing exemplary work building lasting partnerships with schools and music education hubs, offering excellent training for the next generation."
LINK: Read Althea Efunshile's full speech