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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Minister attacks elitism in the arts
Dr Kim Howells
Dr Howells wants to see an end to "Crachach" elitism
Culture minister Kim Howells has made a scathing attack on the arts establishment in Wales.

At the launch of a new scheme to give more help to young musicians and singers Dr Howells called for an end to the "Crachach" culture of elitism in Wales.

The Arts have been in the grip of a bunch of constipated old wrinklies for far too long

Dr Kim Howells
Speaking on Radio Wales, he accused the arts in Wales of being run by elitists who looked after their own kind.

He said: "The Arts have been in the grip of a bunch of constipated old wrinklies for far too long.

"They don't even consider this stuff to be real culture and yet I doubt if there is another art form which is really addressing what it is like to be young and in Wales.

"It is the old Crachach culture again - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

Dr Howells made his comments after attending the launch of a new project run by the communications agency Quadrant entitled PYNCI (Promoting Youth Networks in the Cultural Industries).

Break down the barrier

Using both private and public funding, PYNCI has been awarded both Objective One and Three funding from the European Union and is aimed at young people aged 16 to 25 who are keen to break into the music industry.

Aspiring singers and bands will be offered specialist advice, production support and facilities that are essential to success.

The scheme follows on from the Government's New Deal for musicians which promoted young talent and is something that Dr Howells is keen to see progress and develop.

He said: "I think the Arts Council in Wales is now trying to reinvent itself and that is very good news and I hope they will succeed.

"What we have to do is break down the barrier between what is regarded as high art and low art as if their ever was a barrier between the two, and stop this self apppointed elite from dominating arts in Wales into the next century."

See also:

08 Apr 01 | Wales
Royals are 'bonkers' says MP
08 Apr 01 | UK Politics
Minister says royals are 'bonkers'
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