Sting, Bryan Ferry and Mark Knopfler unite to slam 'unnecessary' Newcastle arts cuts
Monday 17 December 2012
Prominent artists and musicians have joined forces to criticise a council's proposal to cut 100% of their arts funding.
In an open letter to Newcastle City Council, famous names connected to the region like Sting, Bryan Ferry and Mark Knopfler branded the authority's plans "totally unnecessary".
It is a "short-sighted attack on the arts" and the council risks "throwing away a shared cultural heritage that has been built up by generations and generations of ordinary people in the city", the letter said.
Neil Tennant, Lee Hall, Sir Thomas Allen, Antony Gormley, Robson Green and Jimmy Nail also signed the letter.
If the cuts are implemented, some of the venues affected will include the Theatre Royal, the Northern Stage and City Hall.
Musician Mark Knopfler said: "It is mortifying and shaming that these 100% cuts should be in Newcastle which has always enjoyed such a rich tradition in the arts."
Playwright Lee Hall said: "We understand that the arts should not be sacrosanct in a climate of retrenchment but the draconian and scorched earth nature of these proposals is self-defeating.
"The list of signatories demonstrates Newcastle is remarkable in having produced so many artists who did not come from privileged backgrounds."
The council should "rethink this baffling decision and find an appropriate way to preserve the arts in Newcastle", the letter concludes.
In response the council said it recognises that some of its decisions are not palatable but it can only spend the resources it has.
"Newcastle is one of the very few councils that is setting out three years of its budget rather than year by year and is therefore being much more transparent about the implications of the Government's austerity measures," a spokesman for the council said.
"We face unpalatable decisions which we know are counterproductive and, in many cases, false economy but the council can only spend the resources that it has as it faces losing more than a third of its budget over the next three years.
"The reason for a long-term approach is to be able to talk with cultural organisations to find alternative sources of funding, and we are having positive discussions with organisations across the city about what we need to do together."
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What if 35 Palestinians had died, and 800 Israelis?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
50 best running songs: From Avicii and Pharrell Williams to the classic 'Eye of the Tiger'
Coolio has sold his soul to Pornhub
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >