It maybe a cliché, but the old adage ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ is a slogan art organisations should be shouting from their rooftops across the UK right now.\r\n
As the scythe of recessionary cuts swings, the arts are facing the difficult task of making their case - in an extremely tough financial climate.\r\n
But the truth is the arts budget is already tiny (17p a week per person – that’s less than half the price of a pint of milk!). Despite this, the return on investment is huge: world-class arts and artists and a sector that not only gives Britain an international edge as a dynamic place to live, work and do business, but which fuels the creative industries and has a proven track record of regenerating towns and cities.\r\n
Here at FACT in Liverpool (the most successful European Capital of Culture ever), we know the power of the arts to regenerate a city and to educate and empower people. During my time working at FACT I’ve seen the impact we’ve had on individuals’ lives, whether it’s the cinema-goer accidentally ending up in our art galleries and exclaiming “it’s amazing, I never knew you did art here,” an older unemployed person getting a job through digital training or a young woman with mental health issues learning new skills and getting vital peer support through our pioneering multimedia art projects.\r\n
I firmly believe that the people from our young people's, education and outreach programmes will end up as tomorrow’s film-makers, artists, musicians and producers – the people who make the UK’s creative industries so great. At FACT, we’ve already seen it happen.\r\n
The arts in Liverpool and all over the country have already delivered so much – let’s make sure it continues.\r\n
To read more about why the arts matter to all of us, go here.