Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Labour Party Arts & Culture Consultation in Leeds

16 August 2013

From Dan Jarvis MP, Shadow Culture Secretary:

One Nation Labour Arts Event: The future of Britain’s arts and culture policy

Thursday 5th September, 14.00 – 16.00, Howard Assembly Room at Opera North, Grand Theatre,
46 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU

I would like to invite you to join Labour’s Shadow Arts team for a discussion about challenges facing the arts and the future of Britain’s arts and culture policy.

The arts are central to our lives, and to the human spirit. They make a huge difference to our lives as individuals, help shape our communities and are a powerful engine of growth in our economy.

But this is a dangerous time for the arts. Arts organisations across the country are facing huge pressures. Many are facing an uncertain future because:

  • the Arts Council’s budget has already been reduced by 35%;
  • local councils, so important to funding the arts, have had deep cuts made to their budgets;
  • Regional Development Agencies, which helped draw investment into our regions, have been abolished;
  • the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has been weakened – with another £34m cut over two years announced in the Autumn Statement; and even though the Government argued for a greater role for philanthropy, over 70% of philanthropic giving goes to London.

There is a real danger that the effect of this will be to turn back the clock on all the progress made by Labour in supporting the arts since 1997.

As well as setting out my concerns for the future of arts and culture, I also want to start the discussion with you in Leeds and Yorkshire.

After an introduction and speeches, we will be joined by others for discussions on:

  • What are the challenges faced by the Arts today?
  • Opportunities for young people in the Arts
  • What can local and national government do to support the Arts?

Spaces are limited but we are keen for as many people to attend as possible. Please do feel free to forward this email on to any colleagues you think may be interested. In order to attend, please RSVP to Kamella Hopkins at by Friday 30th August.

You might also be interested in a recent House of Commons debate on the importance of the arts and creative industries, the first in over five years, led by Labour. You can read the whole debate on the Parliament website.

I look forward to seeing you at the event.


Very best wishes


Dan Jarvis MP

Shadow Culture Minister

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