Patronizing the national stage

Heinrich, A. (2017) Patronizing the national stage. In: Emeljanow, V. (ed.) War and Theatrical Innovation. Series: Palgrave studies in theatre and performance history. Palgrave: London, pp. 161-178. ISBN 9781137602244 (doi:10.1057/978-1-137-60225-1_9)

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The introduction of subsidies to the performing arts in Britain happened almost overnight in early 1940. This was not a minor detail in government policy but a major change in the perception of arts in war-time. It was also the inception of cultural policy in Britain – a term which did not exist before. The Arts Council of England is a direct outcome of this development as is the culture portfolio within the UK government. Given that official policy until 1940 had been largely characterised by Lord Melbourne’s famous 1835 dictum of “God help the minister that meddles with art“ this was a revolutionary change. In this essay I concentrate on the foundation of CEMA, the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, and precursor to the Arts Council, not only because this aspect has been largely overlooked by research so far, but also because the introduction of cultural politics in the early 1940s signifies a significant shift, which has repercussions until today.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heinrich, Professor Anselm
Authors: Heinrich, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Published Online:14 October 2017

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