Cuts Watch #270: Arts Funding
Nearly every well-known artist in Britain has signed an open letter to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, asking the government not to cut arts funding. The planned 25 per cent cuts will, they warn, “sabotage Britain’s unparalleled achievements in this area.” The letter has been signed by every winner of the Turner prize and famous names on the list include Anthony Caro, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tony Cragg, Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Deacon, Tracey Emin, Andy Goldsworthy, Antony Gormley, Sunil Gupta, Maggi Hambling, Richard Hamilton, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Isaac Julien, Anish Kapoor, Steve McQueen, Julian Opie, Grayson Perry, Bridget Riley, Sam Taylor-Wood, Mark Wallinger, Gillian Wearing, Richard Wentworth and Rachel Whiteread.
In July, directors of the country’s leading cultural organisations wrote to the Prime Minister and leading figures in film have been outspoken in defending the UK Film Council. The Writers’ Guild, BECTU, Equity and the Musicians’ Union are all campaigning against arts cuts – there is a real fear in the arts world that 50 years’ investment in brilliant works is about to be thrown away.