Some West Midlands arts cuts news has finally arrived. The anticipated wave of newly funded visual arts organisations has turned into a dribble, with just…

“three new additions to the portfolio” [ including ] “Punch, an urban arts development agency [ that will ] enable a producer to work with Black and Asian artists based at the Birmingham Rep.” [ and also ] “A new artist-led space is [ to be ] created on Eastside, Eastside Projects…”

The press release doesn’t seem to name the third new organisation, but the Word .doc reveals it as Dance Consortium, a…

“supportive network of 19 large-scale dance friendly venues throughout the UK. Its declared aims are to develop audiences for dance in the UK”

“27 organisations will receive above inflation increases including Birmingham Jazz, CBSO, Craftspace, Contemporary Glass Society, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Stan’s Cafe, Talking Birds, Tindal Street Press and Warwick Arts Centre. […] Wolverhampton Arena Theatre and Bilston Craft Gallery […] Borderlines project [ Newcastle-under-Lyme ] […] B arts [ Newcastle-under-Lyme, wrongly tagged as being in Stoke-on-Trent ] […] Chitraleka Dance Company; DASH (Disability Arts in Shropshire) […] Black Country Touring for their South Asian programme, […] Ikon [ Gallery ], New Art Gallery Walsall.”

A further…

“38 [ organisations ] will receive an inflationary increase. […] 11 organisations in the West Midlands will not have their funding renewed.”

There’s no mention of the apparent last-minute reprieves for the Birmingham Opera Company and Rideout. The Stirrer reports that Birmingham Opera Co. “still faces a series of crisis meetings to ensure its survival” and The Guardian reports only a “partial” restoration of funding to the BOC. The Stirrer writes…

“There’s no money in the pot for the Opera Company for the forthcoming financial year, and funding for 2009 and 2010 has only been “reserved”. Whether or not they actually get their hands on it depends on a series of crunch talks with […] Arts Council boss Sally Luton starting on Wednesday.”