Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Equity calls for an arts summit

21 April 2011

Downing Street

Patrick Stewart, Penelope Wilton, Maxine Peake and Samuel West, together with Equity President Malcolm Sinclair and General Secretary Christine Payne, presented the call for an arts summit at Downing Street at 10am on Friday 8 April.

The letter reads: “After the initial round of cuts to Arts Council England, announced as part of last October's Comprehensive Spending Review, many arts organisations witnessed the withdrawal of large amounts of local authority support, followed by a further round of Arts Council cuts just last week.

“Many of our most successful artists, our Oscar, Olivier, Golden Globe and Emmy winners, learned their craft in repertory and small scale theatre. These organisations not only provide for local communities, they are also where the research and development for our multi-million pound entertainment industry takes place.

“However, those working in the sector recognise that decisions about funding have been taken and that our task now is to do the best that we can to preserve the UK's status as a world leader in culture and the arts during this period of budgetary restraint. We know that you and your Ministers are aware of the economic strengths of the arts and creative industries and their potential to promote growth, regeneration and social cohesion in our communities.

“We hope that you share our view that we need to continue the success story of the UK's entertainment industry. Today we appeal to you to convene a summit of leaders in our sector to discuss with political leaders the way forward for public investment in the arts and to consider policies to increase this investment once this present period of austerity has passed.”

Meanwhile, What's on Stage is running a poll on whether the arts funding cuts were harsh or not. To have your say, visit the What's on Stage poll.

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