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Litfest calls for support after Arts Council funding loss

John Freeman
Lancaster litfest director Andy Darby has issued a more detailed statement on its loss of Arts Council funding (see news story), which we publish in full below.

"In October, Arts Council England (ACE) had its budget cut by £100m. Yesterday they announced which organisations they would continue to fund. Sadly, Litfest was one of over 200 organisations which was not offered funding after 2012.

"We're disappointed. Since ACE funded us to grow our organisation and to move into the refurbished Storey building, we have run more events, published more new work from the region and worked with more partners on literature development projects. We have done what we promised we would.

"Last night, our Metamorphoses storytelling event sold out, with 100 people packed into The Storey Auditorium. 

What we are doing, and how you can help

"We really appreciate your support and your enjoyment of what we do. We believe that Lancaster deserves inspiring literature events and we intend to keep providing them - just as we have for over 30 years. Only hours after we received the news, we were on the phone booking new events for our storytelling series.

"Lancaster has taken a beating in these cuts. The Storey Gallery and Folly have also lost their funding; the Dukes Theatre and Ludus Dance have had their funding reduced.

"We think that ACE's decision to cut our funding is not a reflection of the value of our work to Lancaster, but of the changed priorities and demands being made of and by Arts Council England."

If you'd like to support litfest, there are a number of things you can do:
  • Send Litfest  an email telling them why the organisation is important to you. "Tell us, for example, about an event that has uplifted you," says Andy, "or a writing workshop that has made a difference.
  • Book a ticket for one of Litfest's events, or pop in and buy a book from our Poetry Bookcase. As hundreds of British arts organisations are being cut, now is the time to show your support for the arts. Vote with your feet. 
  • Tell your friends about Litfest - face-to-face or online. 
  • Get involved - volunteer some of your time to staff Litfest's Poetry Bookcase, help with our leaflet and poster distribution, or join our Front of House team at events.
 Upcoming litfest Lunchtime Classics events: