Kent Leaves Tricycle After 27 Years, Cites FundingDate: 4 July 2011
Nicolas Kent will leave Kilburn's Tricycle Theatre after 27 years as artistic director, blaming cuts in public subsidy. The director, who has been in charge of the north London venue since 1984, will step down in March 2012.
Speaking to Whatsonstage.com, Kent said the £350,000 reduction in funding imposed on the theatre, in the round of cutbacks announced by Arts Council England this past March to take effect from next April, will cause the Tricycle to employ "many less actors" with particular fears for artists who have just left training and are starting their careers.
Kent is scathing of the government's push towards greater dependence on corporate and individual philanthropy, saying that the public expect the state to fund their art as it funds their healthcare. It is unreasonable, he says, for the government to expect the way art is funded to change "overnight", with the government's plans for philanthropy to be a large-scale funder of the arts more realistic over a 20- to 30-year period.
Although in favour of encouraging more philanthropy, the artistic director also criticised the Coalition's plans saying that such methods of fundraising support "richer institutions" that already have "the wherewithal to attract donations".
Although Kent has said he plans to continue supporting the Tricycle following his March departure, he hopes his resignation will cause authorities and donors to reconsider the issue at a time when "everyone is worried" about funding, encouraging those who fund arts organisations to offer better deals.
Kent added that he was disappointed at the way the arts are being disassembled, and that Britain needs to work towards a more equitable distribution for public funding.