Arts support vital in rural areas, too

Posted on: July 14, 2010

In Tuesday’s (7/13) Independent (U.K.), Holly Williams writes, “Times are tight now, the axe is falling everywhere. But recent Arts Council cuts come as a particular blow in communities that are already struggling to support their cultural institutions. And while the Arts Council in England opted to share the pain, taking 0.5 per cent off most companies, in Wales 71 organisations will continue to be fully funded, while 32 lose their funding entirely. This will be a devastating blow to many smaller organisations. Of course, it’s easy to nod and mutter ‘had to be done’—until it affects an area you know well. … In a rural area, arts organisations are often the backbone of the community. … Cuts will mean local companies simply can’t afford to keep going, resulting in residents being denied a vivid cultural life, unless they’re willing and able to drive for an hour or two. … This is a personal lament, and a reminder: just because people choose to live in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean they don’t need an artistic community. If anything, the need—and the enthusiasm, commitment and passion—is greater.”

Posted July 14, 2010