The funding of The Arts in the UK is in a precarious state. There is a feeling amongst the creative community that the post lockdown rescue packages that are being thrown to the arts may not be enough considering how important they are.
Here's my letter and you can hear me performing it in the link attached
Dear The Arts..
It’s a shame you’re known collectively as The Arts.. I think it makes you sound a bit unapproachable and like you’re going to make me feel that I don’t know anything or that you “aren’t for me”
Can I call you something else? Let’s try calling you
I’m really relieved that you are getting some help.
You mean a lot to me.
I’m not even quite sure when we first met.. but as a not very sporty child, you gave me chances to shine in other ways - playing music, singing, acting, dancing
You gave me opportunities to learn, develop, thrive and be part of something as a child and young adult.
If it wasn’t for you, there would not have been the Devon Youth Choir to join - and frankly that does NOT bear thinking about
You give children and young people a different way to fit in and a whole new social circle away from the classroom. You gave me confidence, a sense of achievement and a direction in life.
You enabled me to get excited about stuff and to see that there are possibilities out there, that we can achieve anything we want. That creativity is important and valuable.
But you’re not all about taking part
You’re also about opening minds - through going to see plays throughout my life you have enabled me to appreciate life through different angles and view points and to marvel at the wonders and magic of stagecraft in all it’s forms.
You have made me cry with laughter and you have made me weep tears of pain and recognition. There is a film I can’t even look at the DVD case of without feeling things so deeply, knowing that if I watch it I will be in bits, I’m not going to tell you what it is - it’s slightly embarrassing and also, it’s not really important. Everyone will have their own version of this film I’m sure.
But the power of the artistry that goes into making a film that can provoke THIS reaction in people. I mean - goodness me.. YOU, my dear friend The Arts, are a powerful creature!
Artists create beautiful things - some we can hear, some we can touch and some we can taste
You are all about adding richness and layers to life. How empty would our world be without a great book, a song we always turn up when it comes on the radio, the chance to see our child perform in a school play?
When we are confronted by our own 4 walls everyday day in lockdown - we turn to you for escapism, for beauty and for comfort in the form of films and TV series we have been meaning to watch or old black and white films that feel like we’re being cuddled up in a soft, warm blanket. You are the people who have got us through! You keep me entertained, inspired and comforted. I’ve needed you and you were there for me.
Years ago when I was looking for a new place to live, I spent time on line looking for YOU - where you were, where you were appreciated and where you thrived. There were a couple of places I was considering moving to but I looked and I couldn’t find you anywhere. You didn’t seem welcome or nurtured - so I knew that those places weren’t for me.
Because I made sure I moved somewhere you were thriving, I’ve met so many people, made lots of friends and been able to experiment creatively and spread my wings. Building my skills and my confidence. My work and my whole business. That’s down to you.
We all owe you so much.
You build confidence, friendships, communities, possibilities, towns, jobs, relaxation, inspiration
You’re everywhere - even if people don’t think they are friends with you - they probably are
We all need you, The Arts, more than we think
I’m glad it’s been recognised.
I’m just concerned that it might not be enough to nourish and sustain you and to help you grow - as you help us
Thanks for everything old friend
Lots of love