Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA)
This small collection of early records of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) was donated to The Dartington Hall Trust Archive by Nan Plummer in 2001. The records were accumulated by Sybil Eaton between about 1939 and 1944. The collection consists primarily of travelling reports by Sybil Eaton, Ronald Biggs, Imogen Holst, and other CEMA workers. Mostly handwritten, the reports are a daily journal record of musical rehearsals and concerts organised by CEMA workers dispersed throughout wartime England. Reports mention orchestras and musicians, discuss the success or failure of performances, and assess the viability of various English counties and regions for further music concert organising efforts.
Imogen Holst, was the organiser for the south west region of England and was based at Dartington Hall from about 1943. However, Holst's reports preserved in this collection are written in 1940 and 1941 when she was based at Oxford. Other materials in the collection include correspondence and CEMA Bulletins (issues 1-35 with a few gaps).
A common refrain in the reports is the shortage of petrol and the difficulties of regional travel.
The Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) was established in January 1940, a result of an informal conference held at the Board of Education in December 1939. It consisted of the following members; Lord Macmillan (chairman), Thomas Jones, Sir Kenneth Clark, Sir Walford Davies, Dr Reginald Jacques, L du Garde Peach, Mary Glasgow (secretary general) and W E Williams. Later Thelma Cazalet, J Wilkie, D Du B Davidson and H B Wallis also became members. The initial objective of the committee was to give financial assistance to cultural societies finding difficulty in maintaining their activities during the War. The committee was funded by £25,000 from the Pilgrim Trust, of which Lord Macmillan and Dr Thomas Jones were also the chairman and secretary respectively.
In 1940 the committee, enlarged by the inclusion of several new members, was formally appointed as the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) by Lord De La Warr, President of the Board of Education. The new Council began to receive direct government funding. Lord Keynes was chairman from 1942-1945.
In 1945 it was announced that CEMA would continue as a permanent peace time body under the name Arts Council of Great Britain - a Royal Charter of Incorporation was granted in 1946.
Information for Researchers
All papers belonging to The Dartington Hall Trust Archive (with the exclusion of Dartington Hall School pupils individual records) are held at the Devon Record Office. All enquiries relating to research should be made to Devon Records Office, Great Moor House, Bittern Road, Sowton, Exeter, Devon EX2 7NL
+44 (0)1392 384253
+44 (0)1392 384256
The following requests should be made direct to the Archives & Records at The Dartington Hall Trust as shown below:
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Former pupils of Dartington Hall School wishing to view their records
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