The Grenfell tragedy shows us what happens when we refuse to listen to people, rendering them powerless. We know the residents
Trans people are often shown as sad, lonely people. Or sex workers, or trapped in the wrong body, rejected, suicidal, killed or simply die. Basically the media would have you believe that it's never ends well for us trans folk. I believe that art can create social change and I like being part of that change.
That's how a child at the Rowan School in Sheffield, whose pupils all have a diagnosis of autism, described our circus show. The pupils attended, as do all of our audiences, free of charge and with their entire family so that they can enjoy the show as a family group.
As things stand, core national funding for arts and culture has already reduced by over £100million (more than a third) since 2009. On top of that, Local Authorities - historically a significant funder of arts and culture outside London - have seen 40% cuts. Local Government Association modeling predicts funding for non-statutory services (like culture) will be down by 66% by the end of the decade.
Having this partnership in place will encourage IdeasTap partners to continue offering opportunities for creative people through Hiive. We have in place a platform that is already supporting and nurturing creatives through employment and educational opportunities.
The UK must, as the report strongly urges, continue to invest in its arts and its creative and cultural industries. Moreover, given the evidence on the return on investment, this is real investment and not subsidy!
This week my eyes have been opened to just how many projects and young people are trying to be a part of the showbiz game.
Of course we could use more money - we had far more applicants to our National portfolio than we could afford to support. Yes, there is more to do in terms of the balance of the Arts Council's investment and yes, progress is slow - but it is purposeful and targeted. Overall investment outside London has actually increased in this National portfolio round.
Arts funding is essential in keeping art accessible and affordable for everyone. It is essential in providing young people safe spaces in their communities. It is essential in providing economic and cultural assets to towns. It is essential in ensuring our cultural climate is diverse, fresh and exciting. Art should not be dull or inaccessible and enjoying art should not be expensive - and without sufficient funding, it will inevitably become these things.
The subsidised arts are the entry point for many of our leading lights in the creative industries, and of course the creative industries themselves, including the arts, are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy, accounting now for one in 12 jobs.