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Creativity Works reacts to BANES Council's Decision to Cut Arts by 100%

Olly, Creativity Works' Director, reflected: "This will not only affect us hugely as we run two highly impactful arts development commissions, but it will greatly affect the health, wellbeing and happiness of every resident of every age in the authority."

"Is it not decidedly counter-intuitive that, with one-hand we are commissioned to run a creative support service for people with mental health challenges, with the overt outcomes of improving their mental health and wellbeing and thus saving the local authority thousands of pounds in GP visits and visits to other costly services, whilst on the other hand, our work that has very similar outcomes and, over a period of time, will also save the local authority a significant amount of money through improving health and wellbeing, people's progression to employment, and creating social connections, is being cut! It is the most short-termist, uninformed ideology imaginable.

 

"This decision, and many like it around the country will be devastating for the creative future of our communities, our places, and most importantly, our young people. The arts sector has been getting better and better at advocating the role of the arts for society, yet it is still ignored by those very, very few who still just do not get it. There is an apocryphal quote from Winston Churchill about how when asked if they should cut the arts budget at the beginning of World War 2, he answered, 'so what are we fighting for?' I understand that he never actually said that, but he did say this: 'The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them....Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.'

 

"I recently attended a consultation event in Bristol for the Arts Council's forthcoming 10 year strategy. There is much to like about it and much still to work on, but at the end, we were asked a question similar to: 'How do you feel about the state of the arts over the next ten years?' We were allowed three words, but one sufficed for me: Fearful.
 
"But, and this is a big 'but', there is so much great work being done, within socially engaged art and across the sector as a whole. We must and will keep going as we are passionate about the change the arts can make in people's lives, and the joy, reflection and debate it can bring to them and their community. It feels like a constant struggle for recognition, for funding and for respect, but we know it is worth it."
 
 
Find out more about Creativity Works HERE.
 

 

Posted on 14 November 2018

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