As reported in The Times on June 27, however, Prince Charles has given a modern, charitable twist to the idea of arts patronage by creating his Arts & Kids Foundation, which aims to allow children access to the arts — beginning with a target figure of 10,000 schoolchildren going to the theatre by next March.
The Prince's Foundation hopes that by raising and spending money in this area, it will encourage the government and businesses to follow suit.
The Mayor of London launched a similar sort of scheme earlier this year, as a one-off response to the events and after-effects of September 11, but The Arts & Kids Foundation is to have a permanent rolling plan of getting children into theatres, galleries and concert halls.
This launch (which was marked by a gala event at Buckingham Palace, which is rapidly turning itself — in cultural terms, at least — into a British equivalent of the Kennedy White House) shows the Prince of Wales taking a much more committed and hands-on approach to the theatre than any of his predecessors and, more importantly, ensuring that a new generation of theatergoers have a chance to enjoy the art form at an impressionable age.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow