Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Fightback against cuts in the arts and sport

This is reproduced from the home page of Counterfire; I have added links to some of the institutions that are now threatened.


If you are a writer, artist, actor, musician, filmmaker, librarian, sports teacher, or in any way involved in entertainment, the Arts or Sport, you are invited to the inaugural meeting of Fightback Against Cuts in the Arts & Sport (FACAS) which will take place at The Lucas Arms, 245A Greys Inn Road, WC1X 8QZ at 7 pm on WEDNESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2010
map ref: (nearest tube Kings X)
The first meeting of FACAS will discuss how we can best intervene in the campaign against cuts in the Arts and Sport and how to use our talents in support of the wider campaign against the cuts.
This country has always had a deficit. Indeed we had a much larger deficit in 1945 and yet went on to set up the NHS and many of the welfare services which are now threatened with the axe. The Arts Council was set up a year later! The government are using the deficit to carry out ‘shock and awe’ cuts to community, health, education, welfare and the arts. They plan to cut public spending by £81 billion over four years. In that same period the rich and corporations will avoid paying £100 billion in tax.
The effect on the Arts is catastrophic.
ARTS COUNCIL: A £350 million cut in the Arts Council of England budget is going to decimate national, regional and local arts projects across the country. Take one example from many; the charity ‘Creativity, Culture and Education’, which is is to lose 50% of  its ACE funding. Their national  ‘Find Your Talent’ programme will go. This  encourages young people to learn a musical instrument, perform and go to concerts and has 2,500 schools in its scheme, helping 400,000 children.
Cuts in local council funding have already started. Lewisham Council have shown us what to expect. They voted for a massive cuts package on 29 November with the protection of the riot police and had already announced that five libraries were to close as well as extra-curricular sports activities for school kids. At the time of writing Birmingham City Council have announced that they are cutting a third of their workforce!
Prestigious arts institutions are not to be spared. Leeds College of Music, The Courtauld Institute, The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music, The Royal College of Music, The Rose Bruford College and the Central School of Speech and Drama are losing their entire teaching grants. Among museums, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Geffrye Museum, the Horniman, the National Coal Mines Museum and the People's History Museum will be losing their Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) grant.

(Cezanne's CARD PLAYERS, one of the many paintings held at the Courtauld Institute).
This first meeting of FACAS has to be London-based so if you are not in the SE let us know about your campaigns. If you are unable to attend, but want to get involved, let us have your contact details.
The meeting has been called by members of the Coalition of Resistance ( – a broad united national campaign against cuts and privatisation in our workplaces, community, educational and welfare services. The meeting can decide whether or not to affiliate to CoR
For updates on cuts to the Arts go to:
For news about the campaign against tax-dodgers go to:
Please let us know if you are attending the meeting.
David Wilson
07951 579 064
Support the students who are leading the way in the fightback. ULU, Malet Street,12 noon, Thursday 9 December and march to Parliament for lobby.

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