Arts chief calls for links with sector

The head of a UK theatre charity has called for a task force of arts charities that do not rely on volunteers to form closer links with other third sector organisations.

Sydney Thornbury, chief executive of WebPlay, a charity that provides theatre services to schools, said umbrella body the NCVO should not exclude non-voluntary arts organisations in its drive to create greater links between the arts sector and the rest of civil society (Third Sector, 18 June).

"It's good to see that the NCVO is trying to forge closer links with the arts sector by meeting with the Voluntary Arts Network," she said.

"However, there is a wide part of the arts sector that isn't voluntary. More than 90 per cent of Arts Council England's regularly funded organisations are charities.

"These people really don't see themselves as part of the third sector, but there's a lot they can learn from other charities - and also a lot they can bring to the sector.

"It is Arts Council England, not the VAN, that really needs to get closer to the NCVO."

A spokesman for Arts Council England said it had some strong links with the third sector at a regional level.

"We understand the importance of the arts being seen as a core part of the third sector, and we're beginning to have conversations nationally to explore how Arts Council England can play more of a role in that," he said.

A spokeswoman for the NCVO said it would welcome links with any organisation that was looking to improve coordination between charities.

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