On behalf of “the undersigned creative professionals and institutions” of the UK comes a letter calling for the revival of an arts sector “in crisis”.
In the economic slump of COVID-19, hundreds of leading creatives have signed a letter urging the UK government to offer more support to the arts.
The letter warns the UK will become a “cultural wasteland” without support for the arts. Addressed to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, it calls for urgent funding and fast action.
Only half of creative organisations believe their financial reserves will last beyond June, according to a Creative Industries Federation survey. “1 in 7 creative organisations believe they can last only until the end of April,” the letter reads.
“Artists are creating so much content online that people can experience in their homes,” Rufus Wainwright told The Guardian. “They have not stopped producing and it would be a crime as a society to not support them through this crisis as they are nourishing us.”
Wainwright mentioned Germany’s recent announcement of a federal support package, praising the government as a forerunner. In the €50bn package, individual freelancers in Berlin will receive bursaries of €5,000.
British cultural leaders have been requesting support for weeks now. Last Thursday, the National Gallery’s artistic director Rufus Norris said the creative sector must not be sidelined.
“We contribute to GDP and the reputation of the country. That needs to be remembered as this wears on. The damage that will be done if we are not supported in this time is impossible to make up,” he said.
Norris added that the National Theatre was founded in similar circumstances following the second world war.