Save Our Arts Funding!
So you may or may not be aware, with a budget gap of £1.25 million over the next three years, cuts will have to be made. In times of austerity, cuts like these are commonplace and can be devastating, but, are often unavoidable.
But are they?
Cardiff Council have recently announced that from April 2014, annual grants amounting to £450,000 in total, will no longer be awarded to more than 70 charitable organisations, with a significant hit of these being arts groups.
Some of the largest and most damaging of these cuts are losses of £161,000 from Sherman Cymru, £13,411 from Chapter Arts Centre, £12,580 from NoFitState Circus and £10,443 from Rubicon Dance. The loss of such vital funding from groups such as these, would be a real backwards step in Cardiff’s astonishing progression as an artistic hub, with an art, music, theatre and television scene that is rivalling and surpassing any in Europe.
We should be aiming to nourish and encourage this growth in an industry that generates tourism, media coverage and ultimately money. The cuts that are most disappointing to me are those to Sherman Cymru and Chapter Arts Centre, two venues that provide such diversity in what they show, and show it at such reasonable prices. Having only just undergone a £6.5 million refurbishment and being faced with a cut that amounts to 14% of its core grant income, I worry that if this was to go ahead, the Sherman would no longer be able to sustain itself as a creative hub that is affordable and accessible to everyone.
So what can we do?
Whatever we can to show that these venues and charities mean something to the people of Cardiff!
Write letters, write articles, contact your local MP, whatever it is that you think will get the message across!
Get yourselves, friends, families, pets onto www.mytheatrematters.com and sign up to show your support for regional theatres in Cardiff and across the UK. You can even post a story there explaining what these theatres mean to you and why they should be protected.
And last of all, go down to your local theatres and arts centres: watch shows, watch live music and get involved. The best way to protect these services is by using them and investing in them.
Let’s make cutting the arts budget as difficult as cutting solid steel with a spork.
Thanks to Hywel Morgan of the National Theatre Wales Community for bringing this to my attention and Wales Online for the point of reference.
Photo Credit: These * Are * My * Photons (Time's NOT on my side) via Compfight cc