Cuts Watch #131: Arts Cuts
Directors of major cultural organisations have written to the Prime Minister to say that cuts could threaten “irreparable damage”. Led by the Arts Council England, the letter was signed by the Directors of the Tate, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Serpentine Gallery, Sadlers Wells theatre and the South Bank Centre.
Arts organisations have already made 3.5 per cent cuts this year and seen other sources of money dry up in the run-up to the Olympics. As we noted last month, the 800 plus organisations funded by the Arts Council England already face an average loss of £2,000; famous institutions such as the Royal Opera House, the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre, the English National Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company all stand to lose more than £50,000 because of this year’s cuts. Cuts of 25 – 30 per cent could, the Arts Council estimate, force 200 of them out of business over four years; others would have to introduce fees or raise ticket prices, cut back on outreach and touring work, run fewer productions or exhibitions and make staff redundant.
In a separate development, the Guardian has reported that a group of major arts donors have written to the government arguing that private charity has to be in addition to state funding, not a replacement for it.