Monday, April 04, 2011

More ranting about The Arts

Have you noticed the way in which commentators utilise the same sort of sneer for "The Arts" as they use for "political correctness" or "NHS managers". I believe that those of us who believe that the arts play an important role in describing and discussing the world we live in should stand up and be counted. here I am ... One

Peter John Cooper: Oxfordshire Theatre Company and Forest Forge cuts

I was devastated to hear about 100% cuts in funding to Oxfordshire Theatre Company and Forest Forge. These two companies represent a vital part of cultural life in the South.  The cuts seem to be wretched and arbitrary and will leave a big gap that will not be filled by any other means.  We all lose. Oxfordshire Theatre Company I have a particular regard for as I was fortunate enough to be the first Artistic Director of Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company as it was then known throughout the 1980s.  Both of these companies have maintained and developed theire artistic standards whilst doing the vital job of bringing theatre to people and communities who would otherwise have no access to live performance.  They must not disappear.  All of those who have had associations with these companies should contact them now and see if there is any support that can be giving to keep the wheels rolling past 2012.
Meanwhile, our best regards to all those who are currently part of these companies and good luck for the future, whatever it may hold.

A Rant about cuts in the arts support

The arts are essential in the sense that they are what create and reflect the cultural life of the society we live in. If you ask the question do we need the arts or, say the social services..., then I reply we need both because there is no point in just clinging on to an empty and barren existence. Most arts organisations have had to be extremely entrpreneurial over the last twenty years because all public funding comes with a requirement to raise matching funds from businesses, private investors and paying audiences. And I have never ever met a 9-5 artist. Those who live by the arts do so heart and soul 24 hours a day and any income received goes nowhere near matching the effort of production. Public subsidies enable us to keep being creative in those areas where the public have not yet realised what is possible. It is the equivalent of an ipad - who knew they needed one before one was produced? But once on the shelves everyone has to have one. But the ipad is produced only with the input of zillons of dollars of investmentbeforehand. Public subsidies provide us a small part of that investment. (Incidentally, I do not receive any public subsidy directly or indirectly myself)