Dear Nadine...

A selection of messages to the Culture Secretary from PCA supporters across the UK.

  • All
  • East Midlands
  • Eastern England
  • London
  • North East
  • North West
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • South East
  • South West
  • Wales
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire and the Humber

I want to be able to take my grandchildren to the theatre when this is over.

Teresa
Bedford

The arts are the soul, the barometer, the conscience of our society. They need protecting and nurturing.

Nicholas
Huntingdon

My son has worked so hard to create a successful touring theatre company. He employs actors at Equity-plus rates and shares ticket receipts with small venues. It is now all at risk so please help him and other arts ventures as they continue their struggle for survival.

Lynne
Ipswich

I am a community mental health nurse and am very aware of how important the arts are to people recovering from severe and enduring mental health issues. Covid had a huge impact on everyone and I have seen the pressures up close with service users and the impact on all services. I ask you to look further at this.

Gray
North West Norfolk

The arts not only give thousands of people employment in the UK, and provide the country with a huge amount of revenue; they are also part of what gives us our humanity. They provide the most memorable experiences of our school lives and are a wonderfully enriching component of our adult lives. It’s part of what makes Britain such an amazing county. Don’t throw it all away and devastate the lives of those whose livelihoods depend on this.

Alison
South Cambridgeshire

As a researcher in the field of arts and mental health I know from my own data just how important the arts are for all of us. Please please support all the people who do such crucial work.

Jennifer
South Suffolk

The arts are deeply embedded in the wellbeing of this country. It is vital that the sector and everyone employed within it is offered support through these challenging times. To allow it to collapse would cause irreparable damage to both the cultural and economic status of the nation. Please act now.

Anne
Southend West

My daughter was one of those performers affected by COVID last year; she lost her job and had to give up her home as she had no income. People are at risk again. They want to work, pay taxes, and live a productive life – please help them!

Vicki
Watford

In these trying, turbulent times, please be longsighted enough to protect the cultural sector from the devastating impact of the pandemic. We mustn’t lose the amazing people and venues that make up our arts infrastructure. What sustained me through the lockdowns was books, films, TV, music – the creative industries. I’m sure they sustained you too. Please act to support them and allow them to survive this crisis.

Jennifer
Chipping Barnet

I know from personal experience that health and wellbeing are intimately connected with the availability of the arts to individuals as an essential part of their lives. Please don’t allow music and theatre and literature to be relegated to a position of secondary importance in the misguided belief that they are some sort of luxury. For me, and many others, the existential threat to the arts will cause an existential crisis – not because I earn a living from them, but, far more importantly, because their part in life is crucial to me. The absence or loss of the arts threatens my ability to continue with any meaningful life at all.

Sally
Cities of London and Westminster

As a freelance casting director I am hugely concerned about the issues which have faced many in our business over the last two years – both organisations and individuals. Sadly many opportunities and much talent have already left the business – please help us to retain what is left, allowing us to build up again once this dreadful pandemic is past. We know that this will take time – meanwhile we need all the help we can get just to keep going.

Sarah
Cities of London and Westminster

I have 2 daughters working in the theatre industry, one as a freelance theatre designer and the other as a stage manager. Their careers have been devastated and only recently resumed. Please support the culture sector again so theatres don’t close for good.

Susan
Croydon North

As a commercial theatre producer with shows running across the UK right now, the impact of the spread of COVID is devastating. The future of many organisations is hanging by a thread. We need protection now before it’s too late.

Nick
Dulwich and West Norwood

Performers and freelancers often have to work additional jobs to supplement their income. These jobs are mostly zero hours and often in hospitality. This industry is also being hit hard and there isn’t enough support. Please do something.

Ella
Ealing Central and Acton

I’ve been in the theatre all my life and known all the ups and downs – but nothing like this. The uncertainty, even if you have got a contract, is bringing people to breaking point. I wake up every morning wondering if my job will make it through to the end of the evening – and what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.

Sarah
Ealing Central and Acton

My mother is Dutch and she taught me an old Dutch saying: if you only have two guilders left, use one to buy bread to feed the body, and one to buy a bowl of hyacinths to feed the soul. Please don’t let the arts wither away and die. There is no point in surviving a pandemic if there is no joy to be found from the arts.

Peter
Finchley and Golders Green

Galleries and museums bring so much to this country: joy to its inhabitants and visitors from abroad, money and a worldwide reputation. But they are hurting now with thousands of redundancies, education programmes cut and our cultural capital is altogether at risk. Please help.

Sara
Hampstead and Kilburn

Culture is pantomime as well as Shakespeare, hiphop as well as ballet, pop as well as jazz, entertainment as well as art, and we all need it all. Please please do what you can.

Richard
Holborn and St Pancras

Every taxi driver, hotel and restaurant needs the theatres to be open. We go hand in hand. Usually 300,000 people a week in a West End theatre. A massive tourist attraction.

David
Holborn and St Pancras

Please recognise how badly theatres will be hit by Covid cancellations at this time of year. The takings from the 3-4 weeks over Christmas are the underpinnings for the rest of the year for most arts organisations and it’s looking like they are going to be massively hit. The government has recognised before how important the performing arts are to the economies of towns and cities as well as our wellbeing. Please help us again or organisations will go under.

Tricia
Hornsey and Wood Green

This is a matter of urgency. All my family work in the arts and every time productions and venues are closed due to Covid, they no longer receive any financial help. This makes it almost impossible to pay bills, mortgages, etc. My son-in-law who is a freelancer had no help at all from March 2020, my two sons are enduring massive hits to their businesses as their work dries up. My daughter’s work in the New Year is now under threat. Those who work in the arts contribute to our culture, our wellbeing, our enjoyment in life. They and the institutions they work with need urgent help now.

Catherine
Hornsey and Wood Green

We will never build back better without having the arts and our flourishing creative industries.

John
Islington North

Our theatrical and music heritage is a huge part of our rich culture and, when better times come, will bring income back to our major cities – but only if it’s still there. Please ensure that we don’t lose a very long important part of what it means to be British, and something that is the envy of the world.

Joy
Lewisham West and Penge

For 40 years we have created and toured participatory work with partners across England, especially to locations where arts and culture are less easily accessed. To do this we are dependent on the complex and fragile economy supporting the venues in each location we visit. What hurts the national or the local venue hurts us, because without their support we cannot bring our work or find the next generation of talent. We are a core team of 3 and we engage up to 20 freelances each year. Everyone who works in arts, culture, entertainment is interconnected and we all urge you to keep advocating for the sector’s survival.

Rebecca
Lewisham, Deptford

I’m a recent graduate of stage management at university and without your support my career will end before it’s even started. Please help.

Beverley
Old Bexley and Sidcup

After an exhausting shift in a hospital the best way for me to unwind is to watch a play, a drama or visit an art gallery. My sanity was saved by the arts, please don’t cut their funding!

Maggie
Putney

I run a not-for-profit band project for teens and they NEED music and performance opportunities to help them feel good about themselves in a culture that too often undermines their talents.

Anna
Richmond Park

The arts and culture play such an important role in providing relief for those suffering stress, isolation or loneliness. Remember it will be less expensive to help keep venues alive than to let them fail and put so many out of work.

Terence
Sutton and Cheam

Help is needed.

Joan
South Down

For a society to thrive, to imagine, to have space for the plight of another, to re-build, to hope, to reflect, to invent, to invest, to believe in something, we need the arts. This is about so much more than jobs or venues. This is society’s lifeblood. Please believe this and ACT now.

Ros
Edinburgh East

Obviously the situation is complicated by Scottish devolution (I live in Glasgow), but I write as the father of a freelance musician living and working in England, very concerned about the situation throughout the UK.

Stephen
Glasgow North

The economic argument for supporting the arts is undeniable in terms of direct and indirect economic benefit. However – and as the pandemic has shown – the arts, creative industries and heritage sectors make a massive contribution to our individual and communities’ sense of identity and belonging, to education where engaging in the arts supports innovation and lateral thinking, and to the health service as it supports good mental and physical health and increased confidence.

Maggie
Kilmarnock and Loudoun

As the supermarkets say, when it’s gone it’s gone.

David
Orkney and Shetland

Please support the arts including individual musicians and actors. Our son and his wife, both very successful musicians, had NO INCOME recently due to self-isolating and now face work cancellations. No one can survive on no income! Please save the amazing arts of this country now.

M
Ross, Skye and Lochaber

Please help save the arts. It’s the arts which have got us all through this nightmare. They are there in every minute of TV we’ve watched, every film, every book we’ve read, all the music which has soothed us or made us dance and blow our cares away. We are nothing without the arts. Every person is poorer without the arts. It is essential for our mental health, which is damaged enough by all of this.

Jessica
Edinburgh East

The performing arts are crucial to the wellbeing of rural communities in particular. A show is a highlight, not an everyday experience.

David
Amber Valley

The impact of social restrictions on our business has been catastrophic. The support has to continue for the arts, culture and events sectors.

Helen
Ashfield

The arts in various forms have helped me get through several difficult times in my life and enhanced good times. Our artists, musicians, dancers and actors, and all the workers that allow things to happen, are a precious resource which Britain should be proud of. We must do our best to sustain these people so they can keep on and come back when things get better. We need them.

Mary
Broxtowe

Please support those who help us make sense of our existence.

Peter
Daventry

Our theatres and venues have worked so hard to reopen. In this latest crisis they deserve help to stay open for all our sakes.

Adrian
Derby South

Do protect the future of England’s arts centres during the coronavirus crisis. Culture plays a significant role in the health and wellbeing of local communities in Leicester and across the country. Our art centres need funding to help support efforts to deliver cultural services during a very difficult time.

Rob
Leicester South

My son works at an arts centre. They had to cancel their Christmas show on Wednesday due to Covid infections amongst staff and cast. We need mitigations and safe working, but right now financial support. Please.

Helen
Newark

There is a further great loss across regional communities: many local theatres and arts centres provide far more than entertainment, through, for example, workshops and activities for more vulnerable members of their communities. Some of these places closed permanently last year and more are now under threat. Their loss is huge to the region they serve as there are no other places in the area to take over the role.

Janet
Newark

The impact that this is having on the young generation of emerging talent is huge. We risk losing a whole generation of performers who will never get the chance to follow their dreams.

Jane
Nottingham East

The value of the arts has never been clearer or more needed. For the elderly, vulnerable, young, socially isolated and wider society. Please heed this plea for recognition and support.

Amanda
Nottingham South

Arts centres and other cultural venues make our town a better place to live, work and visit. Without extra support this is all at risk.

Katy
Hexham

In the Library Service we know the arts have a powerful contribution to make to public health and community cohesion, which needs to be rebuilt.

Lucy
Jarrow

Urgent, critical Government action is needed. We need our arts, artists and legendary UK culture to survive and to thrive. Now please.

Vince
North Tyneside

Please give thought to venues, staff and performers of classical and contemporary music, particularly freelancers who were ineligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. Many are innovative creators as well as this generation’s interpreters of the great traditions. They not only teach and perform in formal settings but work extraordinarily hard to bring this music to people and settings where it is not normally heard, helping to give enjoyment, and physical and mental health benefits which we are now recognising can be immense. In addition, many play, when they can, in hospitals, to the elderly, to dementia sufferers, to the very unhappy. This army of carers of a special kind is in danger of being lost, unless you can give them help to survive.

Bridget
Penrith and The Border

As a life-long Conservative the perception that this Government does not truly care about the arts, particularly music, distresses me. Please show that the Government does care about musicians and artists. Thank you.

Philip
Penrith and The Border

I work in a theatre. For 18 months we had virtually no income coming in. Another loss of income at this time of the year, when we should be at our most vibrant, would be a catastrophe. We have been working SO hard to bring our beautiful small Georgian theatre back to life. Please don’t let all our effort be wasted.

Sian
Bury South

I am an actor who has suffered a huge loss to my work and income because of the pandemic. Even now I’m awaiting results of a PCR which, if positive, will end the work I have over the Christmas period and at least four others in the cast and company. This may not seem like a lot but the effects of this have huge setbacks and make it almost impossible to remain in an already notoriously difficult industry. I was not eligible for any SEISS grants despite being self-employed for nearly ten years. To know that an emergency fund is in place for a sector that the nation relies on so much would give me some hope for the future. I hope you can use your power as Secretary of State to secure this.

Rose
Bury South

Help for touring companies would be particularly beneficial, as these have no permanent home and much of the previous financial support / relief funds went to venues rather than this type of organisation.

Maria
Cheadle

The arts are not some disposable fringe activity. They are an integral and major part of our culture and economy.

Mike
Chorley

This request comes from a physicist. Please bear in mind that *everyone* needs a heathy arts sector.

Peter
Lancaster and Fleetwood

Covid-19 has decimated the arts and culture sector throughout the UK, including in my hometown of Leigh. I can see first hand the impact that this has had. People have lost their jobs, businesses and venues are on the brink of closing and the economic impact has severely affected the mental health and wellbeing of people who work in the sector, not to mention those that use the sector as a social lifeline. We desperately need the Government to act now, with economic measures matching any public health measures put forward. In order for towns like Leigh to flourish, we need better support for our arts and cultural industries.

Jo
Leigh

The arts are vitally important. The bottom line is that if people become unemployed the taxpayer supports them through the benefits system. Far better in this exceptional situation that government intervenes to support the arts, and thus simultaneously maintains the cultural industry and avoids the need for paying unemployment benefits. I write as a retired science teacher, lifelong keen amateur musician, and still busy organist and choirmaster.

Oliver
Liverpool, Riverside

I am a voluntary worker with vulnerable adults and attend art and dance sessions. To see the creativity and the alternative ways these people can express themselves is so important and especially in these current times.

Toni
Ribble Valley

This affects not just the performers but also technicians, composers, designers and many more.

Mark
Salford and Eccles

As someone involved in a local choir and brass band I know how much the arts sector is a valuable asset and important for mental health. Please do find a way of helping financially those currently struggling – particularly the London theatres and local theatres.

Wendy
Workington

At every level, from local to national, I know musicians and performance organisers who, after only just surviving covid lockdown, who are in a desperate financial plight. The arts of the UK are facing virtual extinction if a lifeline is not thrown to them. I urge this government to protect their jobs, and the government’s tax revenue, by granting a relief fund of some considerable size.

Phil
Wyre and Preston North

Our arts bring joy, hope, inspiration and happiness to so many. This afternoon I had the pleasure of escorting a group of disabled and marginalised young people to the pantomime and it brought them so much joy to be able to be a part of it. Please please act to save this priceless treasure of the arts for the sake of our future.

Caroline
Basingstoke

You cannot tell people to minimise contact (therefore directly affecting the arts/culture/hospitality industries), thereby taking business away from these sectors, and not support them at this time. I work in the entertainment industry and have already lost a lot of work and income over December. We need support.

Jack
Beaconsfield

Please help save our theatres, music events and art galleries. Half my annual pay comes from music events and the work I do for a theatre company in London. If we shut again I may possibly become homeless because of lack of funds and having virtually no savings left.

Louis
Bexhill and Battle

The small arts organisation I run provides meaningful activities for those living with dementia. We have reinvented the wheel with our current project, but are seriously running out of money. Our work is very important to those who no longer communicate verbally or see the world as you and I, and they are being forgotten as it’s the arts who speak to them. Please continue to support our vital arts industries.

L
Eastleigh

This new variant is not the fault of the live arts – please do the right thing and offer them financial support.

Andrea
Faversham and Mid Kent

My 12-year-old daughter cites the choir as saving her mental health when she struggled with school closures and lockdowns. Her confidence has grown enormously.

Louise
Guildford

I am a freelance musician. In what should have been a busy week in the run up to Christmas I have only been able to participate in 1 of 4 booked performances – one was cancelled by the venue, and the others (including a live performance on BBC Radio 6) I have had to miss as I have tested positive for Covid. The loss in earnings has been significant, and as I am self-employed I do not have recourse to sick pay.

T
Hastings and Rye

The arts are the means by which we can express and develop our humanity. They involve the essential core of what it is to be human.

Jennifer
Henley

It’s not OK to abandon those who work so hard to entertain us throughout the year but particularly at this time of year. They need support.

Vivienne
Hove

I recently took my daughter to a brilliant panto – the first theatre visit in a very long time – and was reminded what a life-enhancing, uplifting experience it is. Please support those in this field whose work is so impacted by Covid restrictions. We need to protect this important part of our culture and the people who provide it for us.

Antonia
New Forest East

For the sake of our children and grandchildren I am pleading with you to do all you can. We have such a rich and diverse history of world class arts and culture in the UK. We cannot afford to let it go by the board now.

Angela
Romsey and Southampton North

Please do everything you can to help preserve access to the arts for all our young people. It will pay dividends in promoting their mental health and well-being.

Richard
Romsey and Southampton North

In times of fear and distress the performing arts are even more vital. They have lifted public morale in a way that no other scheme has done and have in their own way provided a lifeline. By imposing further restrictions on the arts who are fighting for survival as it is, we are in real danger of becoming a soulless, cultureless, robotic society.

Matthew
South West Surrey

I do not work within the wide ‘arts world’ but I benefit greatly from its contributions to my life.

Virginia
Southampton, Itchen

The arts provide solace and joy, as well as enlightenment. Please help them as they face a third year of uncertainty.

Wyn
Southampton, Itchen

As an international classical solo singer, I have seen my income drop by around 75% during the Covid-19 pandemic. There was barely any support for the field I work in, or for me personally. This new variant poses a further threat to the livelihoods of many performers like me.

Peter
Witney

Your ministry did great work during the last surge, recognising that any money spent on the arts industry is investment for the future, pure and simple. Now is the time to ensure that all of that investment isn’t wasted.

Neil
Worthing West

Fear of the Omicron variant has meant I have lost 60% of my work for this month, money that I need to make it through the quieter months at the start of next year.

Simon
Worthing West

Our cultural talent is one of our great flagships. Please support these great practitioners, in theatre, music and the visual arts and all related areas, as well as you possibly can. They deserve our pride and support.

Lindsey
Bath

For the wellbeing of the nation and all the workers within this incredible community, they need our and your support. Without the arts, our society is not worth living in.

Vicki
Bristol East

We were just beginning to get back on our feet when this new wave of uncertainty began to massively impact confidence, footfall, ticket sales and community engagement. We will soon need more financial support if we are to get back to being a self-sustaining, thriving and much valued arts venue for our regional and local community. Please help us to be here for our community.

Richard
North Cornwall

I am a science and IT person by training, but I still value art and music, and when a student in London enjoyed the big museums, going out to opera and also going to tiny performances in pubs. I remember a production of one act of the Duchess of Malfi in an upstairs room in a pub where all the cast were dressed in period costumes made from black bin liners – it was surprisingly silk-like and effective! Art like this feeds the spirit and lifts the soul – we do need roses as well as bread.

C
North Cornwall

Here in North Devon our local theatre and arts centre have worked so hard to start up again. We are relatively isolated here and their work is vital to our community wellbeing.

J.E.
North Devon

The Plough Arts Centre, in Torrington North Devon, is a local theatre that is just beginning to see bookings pick up. Being so far from London it is important that establishments like this survive to ensure people have access to the arts.

Angela
North Devon

We are a small, vibrant community centre which has become of great cultural and social significance to our rural market town. We have just about managed to scrape through this past year with the help of the furlough scheme and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants for which we are extremely grateful. We were thinking we may survive but this feels like the final nail in the coffin. Please help us.

Wendy
Tiverton and Honiton

Before Covid I ran an award-winning social enterprise providing active music session to care homes. During lockdown, my musicians survived by working in supermarkets and driving delivery vans. We want to get back to our arts-in-health work which benefits not only care home residents but also the families and carers working through such difficult conditions. We can make a little grant go a long way.

Ann
Yeovil

The arts are not a luxury. They are important for our mental health and wellbeing and allowing them to fail and disappear will have longer term consequences than just the immediate job losses and closure of venues, significant though those will be.

Jean
Coventry North West

In these hard times we need the arts more than ever.

Vicky
Hereford and South Herefordshire

We so need the arts to take us to a happier place. Please assist them.

Suzie
Meriden

This is the time of year when smaller venues in particular make the money that sees them able to survive for the rest of the year; to run youth theatres; to enrich the lives of isolated elderly people, care home residents, adults with dementia. Christmas shows fund outreach work for the entire year. Our communities will really suffer and the impact on mental health will be immense.

Barbara
North Herefordshire

I’m a musician – all my gigs were cancelled last year and I received no income from my music. I have just started playing again and Christmas is by far the busiest season for me. I have now had another concert cancelled by the promoter – no more income and the promoter has lost out financially on promotion costs, fees and venue hire. It’s a disaster. We’re following health advice and have a moral obligation not to spread Covid but we are suffering as a result. Help.

Jane
Staffordshire Moorlands

When it’s gone it’s gone, much of it probably never to return. The UK is a cultural giant – let’s value our heritage.

Madeleine
Stourbridge

Many amateur productions are being cancelled too. This is having a catastrophic impact on people and their mental health. The ability to interact socially is vital.

Merie
Worcester

My son’s career depends on what happens next. I fear for him.

Janine
Bridgend

As a retired drama and dance teacher with friends in performing arts, this is very close to my heart. I was overjoyed to be able to return to live performances after such a long absence and I don’t want to see these curtailed yet again or performers without income. When a nation loses its arts, it loses its soul.

Sue
Bridgend

The arts are vital for the emotional health of the country and for crafts people like myself who are making their living from crafts. Please support our artists!

Tanja
Dwyfor Meirionnydd

As a live arts development project, we are seeing first hand the already catastrophic impact of Covid on the Bradford arts sector. With Omicron and audiences being advised to stay home, the work of this world-leading sector is in desperate need of urgent support to ensure immediate livelihoods, staff retention and the future of this essential sector.

Lisa
Shipley

Art is one of the few things that can take people out of their environment and troubles and see the world differently. To preserve our creativity, we need to help the creators.

Colin
Skipton and Ripon

I volunteer at our local theatre. It is on its knees.

Mick
Beverley and Holderness

The arts and music aren’t an optional extra but the spiritual lifeblood of our community, and we forget this at our peril. Please give those who create such wonders the support they need now.

Alison
Calder Valley

Helping people express themselves through the arts, as we do, has a therapeutic effect that is vital in combating the deleterious mental health consequences of Covid, thus reducing the burden on the NHS. It is an investment, not a cost.

Julian
Colne Valley

My granddaughter, aged 16, has had one ambition since being a small child – to be an actress. My fear is that there will be no theatres and theatre companies left until urgent action is taken to secure their futures.

Wendy
Keighley

As someone who has worked in community arts and education for twenty years, i know how difficult it is to maintain a secure income in this area. Many people work hard for long hours to entertain, educate and support others in creative and innovative ways – often for very little financial remuneration. The current pandemic is making this work harder and more precarious than ever. Please consider how you can support individuals and businesses who have suddenly lost work and who find themselves without income this Christmas.

Matthew
Leeds North East

I have first hand experience of the hardship of people in the arts and entertainment sector, with a son in south London, whose networks are being decimated. Please give them support. With mental health problems on the rise, we need the arts more than ever, not the collapse of many committed arts practitioners and groups.

Pippa
Leeds North East

The arts have been so valuable to me in my life, helping me to explore the world and learn to empathise with others and understand their situations. Often discovering I was not alone in feeling something, which was so helpful. Then there is the joy of many works of art. All this needs to be kept going for the enrichment of us all.

Ann
Leeds North East

I am an Art Psychotherapist in Sheffield working with children and young people. I am seeing first hand the devastating impact that limited social contact and lack of creative and cultural experiences in formative years is having on mental health and child development. This is going to be felt in many years to come – it is therefore imperative to support the arts and cultural industries for this reason alone, amongst many more.

Alex
Sheffield Central

I do not work in the arts (I work in education, my wife in the NHS) but the work of those who do is what has sustained us over the past two years. It is vital to our culture that the arts in all multifarious forms are supported.

Oz
York Central

We need more support

Please join our campaign to protect UK culture, and ask your friends to do the same

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Supporters of the Public Campaign for the Arts wrote to the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, urging her to protect arts and culture from the impacts of Omicron. Here are some of the reasons why: https://www.campaignforthearts.org/dear-nadine/