I’ve arrived home after far too long away – recent months have included worked for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and touring rural venues with The Kosh‘s production of The Storeroom – to find a mountain of post.
In amongst this pile is the the new season brochure for the Brewhouse in Taunton [with the fabulous Paper Birds visiting with Others in March], along with this postcard
The text on the rear reads:
“The arts in Somerset receive £159.000 from Somerset County Council [the black line]. This represents 0.0004% of the overall spend. A 100% cut out of the arts development budget next year will have the far reaching consequences for life in Somerset.”
And at the bottom:
Draw the line – 100% cuts in one year destroys the cultural core.
My card is currently on it’s way to Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Creative Industries.
Under the title “County council scythes through voluntary and rural services“, my letter on Somerset County Council’s decision to decimate the arts in the county by abolishing ALL grants is published in today’s Guardian.
“So, Tory-controlled Somerset has voted to cut all direct grants to arts groups. Since her portfolio no longer includes arts, will Councillor Christine Lawrence be reducing her special responsibility allowance of some £16K on top of her basic allowance of £10,000? I work full-time in the arts, touring the country, delivering high-quality live performances to audiences, and I – and my many colleagues in the arts – would be happy to have that sort of guaranteed income.”