Actor Samuel West delivered a speech at the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) March for the Alternative in London on March 26. West emphasized that the arts should be publicly funded and available to everyone:
We believe, don’t we, that art is for everyone? That just as you shouldn’t be denied good healthcare because you’ve got less money, you shouldn’t be able to experience better art because you’re rich. Ballet is not just for the middle classes, it’s for miners’ children too. In fact, isn’t there a film about that? And a show running in London and on Broadway? And in eight other countries across the world, making millions for the treasury?
Let no-one tell us we can’t afford it. The entire Arts Council budget of this country BEFORE CUTS is £450m, or 17p per person per week. That’s half what we spend subsidising the arms trade. It’s 5% of the money lost to corporate tax evasion every year.
Read the full speech at the Arts Funding Information blog.