Friday, 15 October 2010

a slip through the safety net

the clouds of government cut land are looming over and the rains about to pour. threats have already been pre-dished of up to 30% towards the department of culture, meaning tough times for those canvas splashers. however, historically, that out of despair and destitute comes the product of creative activity. the impoverished writer, the stagnant artist and the frustrated musician all will supposedly lead us through hard times with what has been described as a ‘blitzkrieg’ of culture.

i’m not saying that we will witness a picasso's guernica redux, another dylan releasing bringing it all back home in '65 or orwell romanticising the doom and gloom of societies fate in 1984. nevertheless, the one positive aspect that will come from these rather large snips will be a cultural influx that forces you to unleash your inner artist, get a smoking habit and move to a squat in the east quarter of some city.

on the other hand, the consequences of these cuts will have a direct affect on the gallery goer. many facing the cuts will have to increase admissions, limit exhibits and even take down the frames for us to see altogether. furthermore if your thinking that saving the arts is the only struggle, think about the festivals, theatres, music venues and heritage sites that could well weakened by the strike of the government backhand. so far as to speak, some non-governmental organisations have already began the cutback. for instance the uk film council and the mla are set to withdraw themselves, furthermore projects such as the stonehenge visitors centre and rebuilding of the british film institute have had their cash injections cancelled. this leaves similar institutions and organisations in the culture bracket with a worrying concern for the worst.

over the past 15 years, it has become clear that culture is one of the few areas in which britain excels over others and coincidently makes a large contribution to the exchequer. it has even been acknowledged by george osborne that the creative industries in the uk are as big as the financial sector, however, it fails to cripple the state unlike the latter. of course, the current state that the economy is in and the fact that every realm of society is facing some sort of squeeze, it wouldn’t hurt for a justified and calculated tighten up thus allowing a steady and still prominent arts community. it is therefore, the alarms being raised due to the uncertainty of how hard hitting the axe will fall.

despite the bleak outlook and the hope for the next genius to arise from this, at this moment in time, we are living in a cultural metropolis that is thriving with creativity. if these cuts are handled recklessly, it could drastically damage the shape uk culture. therefore, in the months coming we will see where the rain pours heaviest, whether it’s all the treachery predicted or if there is a glimmer of hope to ‘save the arts’…or we see a blitzkrieg of creativity and the outcome is a messiah of the turtle neck world.

personally, i hope that the hit is a softly received blow and as much can be salvaged as possible. below are some organisations to make this a reality.

[the arts funding network]

[save the arts]

[i value the arts]


[fred paginton]

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