tue 25/06/2024

Come clean over cuts, arts chiefs challenge Cameron | reviews, news & interviews

Come clean over cuts, arts chiefs challenge Cameron

Come clean over cuts, arts chiefs challenge Cameron

Culture heads write en masse to PM on fears for longterm arts support

The leaders of Britain’s leading arts establishments, from the Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company and Philharmonia Orchestra to  choreographers Akram Khan and Siobhan Davies, have written to the Prime Minister asking him to come clean about his longterm plan for arts subsidies. The letter was released at a crisis meeting this morning at the Young Vic, attended by some 500 arts figures.

The signatories, who include Sir Richard Eyre, Michael Boyd (RSC Artistic Director), Tony Hall (ROH chief executive), Alastair Spalding (Sadler’s Wells chief executive), Charles Saumarez-Smith (Royal Academy chief executive) and Jude Kelly (Southbank Centre’s artistic director), say they accept the unavoidability of  “an immediate reduction in public investment in the arts” but ask for clarity as to whether the 30 percent chop over the next three years signals the government’s strategy to further reduce public arts subsidy in the longer term. Yesterday's Budget strongly tilted the tone towards private patronage.

They highlight severe cuts in local authority public spending and higher education decreases as directly damaging the arts’ future, and add that they fear “unintended consequences” in education policy which will limit children’s introduction to arts and culture. They ask for a meeting with him to clarify this. Full text of the letter below.

Dear Prime Minister

We know that your government values the arts and understands their ability to transform lives and build communities. We are therefore writing to you to ask that the Coalition Government opens a dialogue with the cultural sector on its long term policy for public investment in the arts and the cultural fabric of this country.

We accept that an immediate reduction in public investment in the arts is unavoidable. We are, however, deeply concerned that the cut of 30% to the Arts Council’s core budget and of 15% to national museums may indicate an intention to reduce public investment in the arts in the longer term, irrespective of the UK’s economic fortunes. We believe that to continue into the future with the levels of investment planned for 2011 to 2014 will do lasting damage to the sector’s capacity to deliver the public and social benefits it can provide. The pressure on local authority budgets is of special concern, since this is already having an impact on the local, small scale and grassroots organisations that are the seed bed for social growth.

As is widely recognised, a comparatively small quantity of public investment in the arts provides the R&D that feeds our famously thriving and profitable creative industries. As makers and producers of the arts and culture we develop innovative relationships, expand our audiences, diversify our income, explore and exploit new technologies. But to go further we need your help.

We welcome the government’s recent measures to make it easier for people to give to charities. Nonetheless, we need public investment at national and local level to develop new work and new ways of working in communities that cannot afford access to the arts.

We worry that the unintended consequences of proposed policies in the education sector limit young people’s access to creativity and cultural learning. We watch with concern how changes in Higher Education funding will affect students of arts and humanities as well as the many types of vocational training the arts and culture rely on.

With your help we can make the highest level of artistic achievement widely available, enhancing the wellbeing of millions while enlarging our understanding of the world we share. Culture delights, unites, enlightens, transforms, provokes, enrages. We hope you agree that it is not an embellishment of democracy, but is essential to a creative and open society.

We hope that you will be willing to meet a group of us to explore what progress we might make in achieving what we are sure are very similar goals for the future.

Yours sincerely

  • Gemma Bodinetz - Artistic Director Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
  • Michael Boyd - Artistic Director Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Farooq Chaudhry - Producer Akram Khan Company
  • Christina Coker - Chief Executive Youth Music
  • Marcus Davey - Chief Executive and Artistic Director the Roundhouse
  • Siobhan Davies - Artistic Director Siobhan Davies Dance, Studios and Relay
  • Richard Eyre - Director
  • Shreela Ghosh - Director Free Word
  • Tony Hall - Chief Executive Royal Opera House
  • Karena Johnson - Chief Executive & Artistic Director The Broadway, Barking
  • David Jubb - Joint Artistic Director and Chief Executive Battersea Arts Centre
  • Jude Kelly - Artistic Director Southbank Centre
  • Akram Khan - Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer
  • Judith Knight - Director Artsadmin
  • David Lan - Artistic Director Young Vic
  • Richard Mantle - General Director Opera North
  • Sandy Nairne - Director National Portrait Gallery
  • Lucy Perman - Executive Director Clean Break
  • Mark Rubinstein - Producer
  • Anthony Sargent - General Director The Sage Gateshead
  • Charles Saumarez Smith - Chief Executive Royal Academy of Arts
  • Jenny Sealey - Artistic Director Graeae Theatre Company
  • Alistair Spalding - Chief Executive and Artistic Director Sadler’s Wells
  • Gavin Stride - Director Farnham Maltings
  • Kenneth Tharp - Chief Executive The Place
  • David Whelton - Managing Director Philharmonia Orchestra

Cc Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media & Sport / Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

We hope you agree that culture is not an embellishment of democracy, but is essential to a creative and open society

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I thought this was a democracy, not Camerons 'Neverland'. Government profits from the VAT increase from your food alone comes to profits of 1 billion a week pocket money for David Camerons government. And they can't even account for a single penny of the 6.2 billion a year spent on the new British space program, infact they can't even produce a single employee. Add this to spending cuts that will render 4 million unemployed making an unemployment record high, and then consider he is going to force half a million sick people back to work and off of benefits. He isn't saying 'thank' you to civil servants and he is turning people against each other!. I don't think a 10p rise in fuel prices over 'x y z' years justifies the way this illegal government and affiliated corporations have bleed every penny from the UK civilization, do you ? We know we own the competitions fuel pumps now, and further to this BP are the worlds most profitable fortune 500 oil company!. He is like a vampire octopus wrapped around the face of England cutting everything back like a child in a sweet shop apart from the most important thing, his job. Cameron is a manic that is adding fuel to the NWO fire and lining his pockets with our money, sinking UK employment and currency just like the Illuminati are wiping out the US dollar in the states. Clearly he's pushing the Illuminati agenda for starving us out and forcing his bank of the world currency, and as this is all a situational fact and that Illuminati are Satan worshiping murdering paedophiles, then who have we got running this country ? And what's that hand shake mean he just did ?, I said illegal government right ?. For those of you whom are unaware of the Illuminati, there symbol is printed on each American dollar, the all seeing eye. The Illuminati were thrown out of England in the middle ages for sacrificing Christian children to their demons, a practice that unbelievably still goes on in the US today which is attributed to such horrific missing persons numbers for under 14's in the States. Are YOU going to stand by and let Satan worshiping paedophiles rape YOUR children and there future ?. Never trust a man in a suit.

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