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Not taking no for an answer

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A performance artist challenges a grant-maker’s decision and wins.
We’ve all been there before: a slim envelope arrives in the post and begins, “I regret to inform you…” There’s nothing very extraordinary in that, it is part and parcel of producing arts projects. Of course we all prefer the, “I’m delighted to inform you” variety of letter, that usually comes with a heftier package of terms and forms, but you learn to accept both as part of the job. Last year I received one of those slim letters from Arts Council England and was not only disappointed, which is natural, but also surprised as I had put together what I thought was a particularly strong application for a project of mine VINYL.

Next step therefore was to gain feedback before turning around a quick resubmission. The feedback seemed to say that it was a strong application so I guessed I may have had bad luck in the weekly lottery of the regional panel’s decision making meeting. So, after a little tweaking of the application, I tried again. Six weeks later, another slim envelope. This second rejection came as a genuine surprise.

Bill Aitchison

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