ArtsLink NB released the following statement today in response to the ongoing concern surrounding the future of ArtsNB.
Dear Members of ArtsLink NB,
Since the February 2 budget announcements concerning the New Brunswick Arts Board, ArtsLink NB has received questions and comments from our membership expressing concern about the implication of the changes. Many of you are already advocating with great determination on behalf of artsnb and what it represents for the arts community. The ArtsLink NB board of directors is also transmitting your concerns and questions to the government, and defending the principles that we all believe are fundamental to the New Brunswick Arts Board.
More than half of the members of ArtsLink NB’s board of directors are professional artists. We want to assure you that ArtsLink NB will continue to defend the following principles:
– an arm’s-length relationship with government;
– adjudication by peer juries, free of political influence;
– an independent board of directors, with authority to hire an executive director;
– independent hiring of all employees directly involved in services to artists;
– legislation in which these principles are enshrined.
We recognize the important work of artsnb in its programmes of grants and residencies for New Brunswick artists. At a time when the federal government has announced additional funding for the Canada Council, in recognition of its role in supporting Canadian artists, our own provincial government can do no less than ensure that the principles inherent in the Canada Council model are equally respected in our province.
As many of you are aware, a first meeting has taken place between the Minister and senior staff from his department, two professional artists, and representatives of artsnb, the AAAPNB, and ArtsLink NB. Both the Premier and the Minister have stated publicly that the government will uphold the principles of arm’s-length relationship and peer assessment. Discussions are ongoing. ArtsLink NB will continue to advocate for meaningful guarantees of the principles we have listed above. We will continue to engage in dialogue and debate. We will be diligent in holding the government to its word.
Kathy Hamer, president – ArtsLink NB