As you will have read in my previous post Hidden Art are in danger of closing down. The HA team suggested writing to the Mayor of London; so that’s what I did. Amazingly I received a reply, although the content wasn’t very encouraging I was really impressed with receiving a response, considering how inundated they are with ranting Londoners!
Below is their reply:
From: Mayor of London [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 14 January 2011 16:47
Subject: RE: MGLA171210-6715 Please save Hidden Art
Dear Ms Whyte
Thank you for your letter of 16 December 2010 regarding your concerns for the future of Hidden Art. I have been asked to respond on the Mayor's behalf.
The Mayor is very pleased to note your feedback of the positive impact that Hidden Art has had on designers and design makers in London.
We have consulted with colleagues at the London Development Agency (LDA) and they have confirmed that the LDA's funding of Hidden Art ended in March 2009, nearly two years ago.
Due to its budget being cut and the Government's intention to close the LDA by 31 March 2012, the LDA is unable to consider the funding of new projects which are not already contracted or planned.
The LDA has written to Hidden Art Chief Executive, Dieneke Ferguson in similar terms and we can only endorse the advice given in their letter that Hidden Art considers how the organisation might be able to leverage support from its partners or other private sector organisations within the sector. We do recognise the challenges that the current pressures in public funding present to organisations such as Hidden Art and wish the organisation well in its endeavours.
Thank again for writing to the Mayor.
Economic and Business Policy Unit
So the future of Hidden Art is still in jeopardy, but this isn’t the only East London designer/maker institution at risk.
Last week I attended a Creative Dialogue with Shin Azumi at the Metropolitan Works. This is currently a free networking and seminar session, where a designer/design related professional talks about their work or a particular subject matter. It was announced that their funding had also ended and there were only 11 months remaining for these sessions to continue.
I signed up to both of these organisations when I became and independent designer, with a way to network, and just get away from my desk and interact with other like minded individuals. These events made me feel and become involved in the design community and it is sad that this opportunity will not be available for future designer makers.
Hopefully a ray of sunshine is around the corner.