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13 September 2010

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Join us in pledging your support for the arts

Visit www.ivaluethearts.org.uk to pledge your support for the arts in the UK as a valued public service.

A new campaign, I Value the Arts, has been launched today urging the public to voice their support for the arts. Anyone who values the arts in their community is being asked to register their details on a new website: www.ivaluethearts.org.uk.

All those who register will be kept in touch with plans that could affect arts provision nationally and in their local neighbourhood, with practical suggestions on what they can do to strengthen the arts in their area.

I Value the Arts is led by the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA), the independent umbrella body for all the arts in the UK. Industry bodies are lining up to support the promotion of the campaign and the campaign website and associated technology has been made possible thanks to generous donations of skills, time and resources by industry suppliers. No public money is being used to fund the campaign.

Louise de Winter, Director of the NCA commented: “Three quarters of the adult population attend or participate in arts activities every year and an even higher proportion of young people. At a time of recession, more and more people are turning to the arts and culture. Reduced opportunities to take part in the arts could have a major impact on the quality of people’s lives and the vibrancy of their communities. As the Government is encouraging us all to get engaged and create a ‘Big Society’, we believe it is important for those people who care about the arts to get involved in the decision- making about what their communities will look like. This campaign gives everyone who cares a chance to have their voice heard and collectively show that the arts provide a valued public service.

Visit the www.ivaluethearts.org.uk website to register your email address and postcode, and be kept up to date with information about plans for your local area.

Organisations like Artichoke couldn’t exist if it weren't for funding received from our Government. As well as visiting the I Value The Arts website, please sign a petition to show your support for publically funded arts. The petition is not a way of the arts being exempt from cuts, but it is about asking that the sector is treated fairly in the coming spending review in October and to avoid ‘front-loading’ cuts.

The sector is bracing itself for 25% - 50% reduction in government funding. This would see an enormous shift in the cultural landscape, which is inevitable under the economy we have at the moment, but will cost jobs, livelihoods, and access to arts and culture in many areas of the UK – particularly at a local level. Those who can least afford it will feel the knock-on effects.

With 100,000 signatures on the petition, the Government has agreed to debate the value of the arts as a public service. Please take two minutes to advocate the importance of arts in the UK by signing the petition and forwading the information to anyone you think might be interested.

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