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Photographer's Note

If asked the vast majority of the people in the UK wouldn't have the faintest idea who the Chief Executive of the English Arts Council is (or Arts Council England as it's better known).

This is an organisation that has a major impact on our country in so many ways and which people tend to take for granted ......and for which the whole story is seldom told.....the media likes stardom and controversy a little more than the humdrum human interest stories inevitably - but this organisation funds a thousand others on a regular basis to make some real differences in peoples lives......and funds thousands more to run particular projects, many thousands of artists to produce work and is a significant influence in many other policy areas..... and of course the National Lottery.............but the man at the helm is a mystery to most.

In my bumbling way the first time I met him we didn't get past the entrance door for the whole visit because I was so excited to tell him what we were doing I forgot all the pleasantries........the second time I spilt a cup of coffee over him......graciously dealt with on his part........

I find that he comes from the more humble origins of our sector of the arts........a background in community and participatory arts......someone who understands the importance of fostering and developing participation at a grass roots level, in education and through supporting people who make it their business to engage others in creative activity. I've got a lot of time for him. He's fought hard to bring resources into the creative life of this country........with the Olympics coming to the UK in 2012 he's going to have to fight a lot harder.......the sports lobby is already leaching away at the arts spend.....or so the word is on the street.

So for today Peter Hewitt remains in the TE shadows......is he a giant of a man.......maybe that depends on how we define giants.........

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Additional Photos by Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1784 W: 193 N: 5128] (22956)
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