A response to the Labour Manifesto on Culture

Good to see culture gets a mention, even if it isn’t particularly rocket science. The most important sentence in the two pages, has to be, that Labour will “put creativity back at the heart of the curriculum” and make sure that arts are not ‘sidelined’. Also that creative careers will be recognised as having value.

Of course, it’s also good to see that cuts to local authority budgets for libraries, museums and galleries will stop. Possibly too late for some – but hope for many others that have managed to weather the storms to date. The concept of ‘creative clusters’ is not dissimilar to creative People & Places, which is already in place and actively coming up with some excellent outcomes, beginning to transform the country’s cultural landscape.

As they say, “being a performer is a great career.” That could say performer/artist/musician/writer/dancer etc – which makes me wonder why ‘performer’ was chosen? The culture of low/no pay is certainly one that has become the norm in all creative industries, meaning only people supported families can work in the arts without doing a day-job. That is excruciatingly obvious when you see how many people expect artists to work for peanuts. Or, worse, ‘profile raising’.

It mentions the ‘value gap’ between producers of creative content and profits from digital services – I’d like to see a similar comparison made between emerging artists and high profile galleries and art fairs. It’s always the incubation stages of the arts that are lowly paid, which means there is an imbalance in financial survival in the fledgling years.

I look forward to reading the  Conservative Cultural manifesto.


Published by carolyn black

I'm an artist and also commission contemporary art in unusual locations. As a producer, I fundraise, curate, project manage and deliver projects. I'm also a writer and film-maker.

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