BP Arts Funding Update

(6-24-10) Further to the June 18 GIA News post "BP Will Continue Funding London Arts Organizations," John Vidal reports on a series of artist-organized protests in a blog entry for guardian.co.uk. A group of artists, poets, writers, and filmmakers calling itself Good Crude Britain will picket next Monday at a Tate Britain party billed as a celebration of the organization's twenty-year relationship with BP. Another artist group, the Greenwash Guerrillas, have been distributing leaflets outside the National Portrait Gallery during BP-sponsored events. Vidal also reports: "Last month a group called Liberate Tate entered the gallery's main turbine hall and released dozens of black balloons attached to dead fish in protest against the Gulf oil spill. Gallery staff had to shoot the balloons down with air rifles."

Under pressure, London arts organizations are starting to release statements on the ethics of accepting money from BP. The oil company continues to decline to divulge how much money it gives to the arts in Britain.