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Life Without The Arts

So the story goes, during WWII it was suggested to Winston Churchill that he should stop investing in the Arts to help pay for Britain’s war effort. He was said to have responded “Then what would we be fighting for?”

At the moment (14/15 figures) Public Funding for arts & culture (including museums and libraries) amounts to 0.7% total Government Spend yet supports an impressive national network and returns £7.7 billion to the UK economy.

The Arts are what makes living worthwhile – without things like music, drama, paintings and dance we’d simply be surviving. The Arts aren’t just the things that give pleasure to life – they are the means by which we express ourselves, connect to other people, share experiences and discover new things about ourselves, each other and the wider world around us.

Funding the arts infrastructure throughout the country costs just 14p per person, per week. (Source: Arts Council England)

Imagine things differently

Imagine a life without the Arts. A world without theatres, galleries or concert halls. A world without Mozart or The Beatles, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Monet’s Water Lilies; without Shakespeare, Chekhov or Tennessee Williams. Imagine having to live for just one day in that world.

Subsidised Arts companies in receipt of public funding are central to keeping the Arts open, available and affordable to everyone in the UK, and not simply becoming the preserve of the wealthy or those who live in the few biggest cities. Publicly funded arts companies are also central to nurturing the great artists – and arts events – of the future.

They also interconnect with the commercial Arts world to feed our TV and radio shows, movies, commercial theatre successes like War Horse and Matilda, and landmark events, such as the incredible Olympics Opening Ceremony we all enjoyed in 2012.

This isn’t just about the intrinsic value of the Arts though. Continuing to fund the arts makes economic sense:
Every £1 of public money invested in arts & culture generates £5 for the economy. (Source: Arts & Growth Report commissioned by Creative Industries Federation July 2015; Contribution of the Arts & Culture Sector to the National Economy Report – commissioned by Arts Council England July 2015)
Being located in an area where there is *twice the amount of Arts & Culture available could increase house prices by an average of £26,817. (Source: Centre for Economics & Business Research May 2013)

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And what does it mean for you?

  • At the Belgrade: without subsidy all ticket prices would double and there would be no concession tickets available. (Source: Belgrade Management Accounts 2012-2013)

We’d love you to show your support for the Belgrade Theatre and the Arts in general by contacting your local MP, and asking them to lobby the Treasury so that Arts funding is protected in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. You can find details for your local MP here and details of how to contact your local Councillor and lobby for his/her support here. Contact information is found by clicking on the Councillor’s name.

Other local arts organisations who rely upon public funding include: The Royal Shakespeare Company, Coventry Transport Museum, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and Motionhouse Dance Theatre.

The major arts & cultural attractions in Coventry and Warwickshire are all within easy reach of each other (see the map in the Images section on the left). In 2013 between us we offered over 3,200 different events, to over 3 million audiences with over 265,000 education and participation opportunities, providing over 1300 full time equivalent jobs, engaging more than 130,000 volunteer hours and generating a boost to the region’s economy of over £171 million. Coventry & Warwickshire – a great place to live, work and enjoy.

Thank you so much for your continued support.

The Belgrade Theatre

Further reading:

Every now and then we’ll add links from this page to interesting, related information.

Arts Council Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, talks about the economic impact of arts and culture.

Culture associated with ‘happiness’, DCMS analysis reveals via Arts Professional
Those who attend the arts report significantly higher levels of happiness than those who don’t, but the opposite is true for those who visit libraries.

The Right to a Creative Childhood Arts Professional

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport are asking for ideas on how government, cultural organisations and individuals can reach out to more people, helping them to experience and participate in cultural activities throughout their lives. You can find out more, and add your own ideas via this link.

Create is a new journal from Arts Council England that aims to stimulate discussion about the true value of art and culture to our society.

Poll reveals most people want Arts funding to triple

A call to recognise the role of the Arts in reducing re-offending – Arts Professional

New research reveals links between culture, health and happiness – Arts Professional

here’s an article about the role of Arts in Public Health on the Arts Professional website.

Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, Tom Morris, welcomes regional arts funding report

Simon Tait discusses the latest Arts Funding news for The Stage

Art does heal: scientists say appreciating creative works can fight off disease"

Read the Arts Council’s Evidence Review on the value of Arts & Culture below:

Read our Executive Director, Joanna Reid’s blog – Views from A Regional Theatre.

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