At the end of this most difficult year, we wanted to say thank you.
The events of 2020 have caused grief and suffering for so many. For the UK’s arts, they have posed the biggest threat in generations.
But by joining together, we’ve made a difference. We have shown that art and culture matters to communities across this country. We have kept up the pressure on the Government to protect the arts with measures like the Culture Recovery Fund, helping to avert complete catastrophe. And we have supported organisations directly through the Arts Map.
There’s more to be done. Hundreds of arts buildings are closed, 55,000 arts jobs have been lost since March (a decline of 30%) and too many people have fallen through the cracks of government support.
The next year will be crucial. We need to mount the strongest campaign we can to ensure the recovery of the arts sector and the rebuilding of our communities.
We’ve already achieved so much in just a few short months, powered entirely by your support and donations:
We launched with a video demonstration, platforming voices from across the UK to affirm the value of arts and culture.
90,000 people signed our petition; 60,000 people signed our letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak; 2,000 people wrote to their MPs through our online tool and thousands more joined our Twitter action to the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden. The Government responded to nationwide pressure with the unprecedented £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.
We consulted with the arts industries to publish ‘10 next steps for the arts in the UK’. It reached over 50,000 people, and helped to raise awareness of ongoing issues around social distancing, insurance and threats to the workforce.
We launched the Arts Map – a major new digital platform for anyone to check the status of arts companies near them, and to offer support. In collaboration with Spun Glass Theatre, we created listings for over 1,200 arts organisations across the UK.
We collected signatures from 10,000 people urging the Government to protect funding for the arts in the Spending Review.
We responded to the second national lockdown in England with a renewed warning about the threats to culture, receiving coverage on BBC News and elsewhere.
We announced plans to create an arts manifesto for the 2020s.
In 2021, the Public Campaign for the Arts will produce a people-powered manifesto, built from our real-life stories and supported by hard data. It will show how the social, economic and health benefits of the arts can power the UK through the next decade.
To achieve this, we’ll need as many people as possible to add their voices and experiences to the campaign – joining in, sharing and supporting. We will need you.
There are major challenges ahead, and major opportunities too. This year, we’ve built a movement for the arts which reaches into every constituency in the UK. Next year, we’ll build a plan to protect and advance their benefits nationwide, and for the years to come.
We couldn’t do any of this without your support. Happy new year, and thank you for being part of the Public Campaign for the Arts.