Things are very busy here at Meadow Arts as we are getting everything ready for our next exhibition; House of Beasts at the National Trust's Attingham Park in Shropshire. The exhibition will open in July, but we have been preparing for it since last Autumn.
There is an enormous amount of research that is done in the initial planning stages. Anne is the curator, so she is constantly visiting exhibitions so that she knows what is around and who is doing work that will be relevant to the exhibition. We often discuss artists and artworks in the office, so it is vital that we all see current exhibitions so that we are aware of works that could be potentially part of a future exhibition.
The work of an arts organisation is never done and a huge amount of time has been spent applying for funding since I joined Meadow Arts in September. The biggest funding application is the Arts Council one, but it is necessary to apply to other funders as well because Arts Council England will provide only part of the funding. They also need to see that we are supported by the Local Authorities that we are working with and that we work in partnership with other organisations.
There is no admission charge for the exhibitions and public commissions that Meadow Arts puts on, so all of the costs have to be raised through Arts Council England, other Trusts and Foundations, Local Authorities, Partners and Sponsorship. The benefits of this are that the public can see Contemporary Art in their local area for free and we also provide workshops so that schools and the public get an opportunity to make art for themselves and talk directly to artists about the exhibitions.
Art exhibitions also help the economy because the visitors they bring in spend money on other things in the local economy, like restaurants and hotels. Studies show that the arts generate more money for the economy (£3 for each £1 of investment they receive) and the arts employ 2 million people in the UK.