The Save the Arts Campaign..

…makes me feel a bit sick inside.  I’ve said before how disappointed I am about the de-politicisation of art, how artists rarely say anything really meaningful.  Mostly these days artists ‘explore’, ‘examine’ or ‘reference’ things – but so rarely seem to have something to actually say.  But threaten their pockets and suddenly there is a national movement of people, poster campaigns, protest marches, etc.  When there are so many things to protest about, our involvement in a clearly unjust war, poverty, all kinds of societal injustice and what do artists do about this – nothing, on the whole. Now, I don’t think it is a good idea to pull funding from arts, but I also think that pulling funding from all kinds of public services is just as bad, and is going to affect people a lot more directly and painfully than arts funding cuts are likely too.  Yes, times are going to be tough, but we’re going to need to look at new ways of working, new ways of making our art and our livings, without relying on the public funding jamboree we’ve been used to in recent years.  Art and artists will survive, well, the good ones, the inventive and committed ones will.  Perhaps there will be opportunities and benefits in the new financial landscape – more partnerships, collaborations, support networks, new methodologies and approaches.  The arts don’t need saving, it’s not like art is going to die if there isn’t so much funding around, and maybe, just maybe, the arts will emerge from this stronger, and more relevant to people’s lives.  Let’s be a little less self-interested and a bit more entwined with the rest of society – that way maybe next time everyone will campaign to save the arts, not just  us.

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