Yes to the Olympics – No to Arts cuts

Please forgive me. I’m having a rant.

On the Number 10 Downing Street website there’s a petition up and running right now, which aims to stop the Chancellor using Arts and Heritage Lottery money to plug the funding gap in the 2012 Olympics.

The Chancellor proposes to plug the funding gap with a 35% reduction in Grants in Arts funding and reallocating the money – some £675 million – to the Olympics. Please submit your name to the petition and oppose the cuts to Arts Grants (Here’s a link about recent developments as reported by The Guardian).

Any way, the petition is at:

It has already gathered over 18,000 signatures – If it gets to 40,000, it would make it into the top five most popular petitions on the site.

I’ve no objection to the Olympics and Paralympics themselves. It’s great that it’s coming to Britain. But I take exception to arts and heritage groups losing out because of it. And I’m not alone: the National Council for Voluntary Organisations has spoken out and remains unsatisfied by the Government’s response to the concerns they’ve raised. The Stage reported just this week that leaders of Britain’s largest performing arts unions, trade associations and lobby groups have taken the unprecedented step of drawing up a joint letter to chancellor Gordon Brown warning of the dire consequences of the Olympics Lottery raid for the cultural sector.

If you’re as annoyed about this as I was, and I hope you are, I hope you’ll sign the petition… and maybe you’ll consider adding this banner I knocked up to your web site or blog:

Say no to arts cuts

Update: Whew! The power of the web. I e-mailed this out late on a Friday evening and within an hour, Liam Sharp had the item up as a news story on MySpace, Tim Perkins had re-blogged my message and the likes of David Baillie, John McCrea, Hunt Emerson, Simon Fraser and Sean Phillips had all signed the petition. Smart.

Categories: Other Worlds

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