Melvyn Bragg has issued a rallying cry for the arts.
His speech in the House of Lords, launching a debate on the contribution of the arts to our economy and society, has already been viewed over a million times.1
Lord Bragg argued that the arts are “the opportunity this society needs to reform itself, to replenish all parts and pockets”. He expressed concern about local authority budget cuts and widening inequality in arts education, saying “enormous rewards could follow from building up the arts”.
Responding for the Government, Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson said that ministers “agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments Lord Bragg put forward”. He acknowledged that the arts “remain an integral part of our national life” and are “an essential part of what makes life worth living”.
Lord Parkinson paid tribute to the Campaign for the Arts for keeping “all of us on our toes” at a time when arts funding and provision are at risk in many parts of the country. It comes just weeks after Scottish Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary said: “the Government have clearly been feeling the heat on this, thanks to the work of the Campaign for the Arts”.2
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