A deep intake of breath is happening across the arts world. Suffice to say funding is diminishing left right and centre and it’s time to assume the crash position.
Lottery money has contributed to the arts sector enormously, The Tate Modern being the most successful and high-profile project, but revenue is now being diverted to the Olympics.
Added to this, there are the inevitable budget cuts that will hit the arts world. Clearly, the true situation won’t become clear until after the election.
Last Thursday, by way of a pre-emptive strike, the heads of our best loved museums, galleries and theatres launched a ‘cultural manifesto’ urging the government to uphold public arts spending.
The report attempts to qualify and quantify the social and economic impact of culture. They believe the arts can help Britain recover from recession and improve society. Bold claims.
One writer for the Independent criticised the situation saying it’s a sad day when ‘arts policy is discussed on the basis of its economic value’ that ‘their final justification rests on human value not economic growth. It’s a mistake for them to try to sell themselves as anything else’.
Personally, I think that’s an out-dated view and good on them. Surely it’s about being smart, using your information wisely and growing intelligence across arts organisations so we can better measure and understand the full impact the arts has on society.
This is interesting stuff and will only help us to grow appreciation of the arts and to innovate. Why should the arts exist in a bubble? That’s not very modern or forward thinking. What is there to be scared of? Am I missing the point?Manifesto for the arts | No Comments »