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Articles > Culture May, 22, 2015

You can all pitch in to keep the arts alive!

Alexander Scott
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I have always had an appreciation of the arts and they have played a big role in my life with regard to hobbies, studying and career prospects. I have particularly had an interest in theatre, and over the last year I have been applying for universities and drama schools to study Community Drama. I have just accepted my place at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to start this September. But with funding being cut for the arts… going into the creative arts industry gives me a lot of angst.

The arts unlocks creativity, helps people express themselves, gets people working together and doing things that they may not normally do.

I chose Community Drama because I have always had a love of people, and this subject gets you working with different types of people. It explores the educational and therapeutic benefits of performing arts, which too often get forgotten. It’s always seen as a form of entertainment, therefore not very important – and so do other arts subjects! The arts is so much more important than it is made out to be, but in this economic climate, the arts will dwindle into nothing!

The arts unlocks creativity, helps people express themselves, gets people working together and doing things that they may not normally do. It improves confidence and gives people a voice. It can carry important social and political messages. People need to be heard and sometimes the arts is a great way to be heard! It often acts as a form of escapism to help us forget about the hectic lives we live, and all the rubbish we see and hear, and just immerse ourselves in the beauty and awe of the arts.

What I love about the arts, is quite often there is no right or wrong answer and it can take many different forms… what some people call art, others would just call a mess – but it’s so important that people express themselves, try new things and showcase their hidden skills and talents!

It’s so concerning that schools are cutting the arts from the curriculum. By becoming a community arts practitioner I feel that I can keep the arts in schools…. we need more people to do this kind of work and arts work in general!

So my question for all of you is, how can you keep the arts alive? Get involved in projects? Take up an art form you have never tried before? Study an arts subject? Perhaps, you could go as far as studying community arts (like myself) in order to have the skills to practice this incredibly important and rewarding job? What skills have you got that you can give to your community? Write letters to MPs? Campaign? Give to arts charities?

You may think you can’t change things … which is true, you can’t on your own, BUT if we artists work together and don’t give in to the funding cuts, we can change a lot!

Don’t be afraid to try new things, improve your skills and get your voice heard! At the end of the day, a lot of employers want to see creativity in people and want people with hobbies and interest. But most importantly, they want people with confidence and team working skills… the arts gives you these important life skills and employability qualities! And remember “love the art in yourself, not yourself in the arts”.

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  1. A

    I entirely agree! I am a very arty person and i worry about younger people not finding an outlet for their creativity. I have noticed that pressure is put on younger years to avoid arty subject as their deemed as unitelligent, however, i honestly dont know what id be interested in if i didnt hsve art/dance/literature and creative writing! I find astonishing that the gov cuts funding for the arts! So agree with your point about the creative industries! Who will there be to create new inventions? Or just as significantly, beautiful art? A ‘shame’ is an absolute understatement! Although ‘death’ is a little harsh, what do you expect from passionate/arty people – exaggeration is necessary!

  2. OA

    I don’t quite understand what you mean by ‘death of the arts’? The arts seem to me to be something that has existed since earliest man and throughout all of history whether funded or not. Whilst I admit that the decline in arts funding will reduce opportunities for people to study art etc. the death of art seems improbable. I’m sure art will change to reflect the situation in both how it is created and the pieces themselves as it has always done. Thus, whilst I see the cuts to arts funding as a shame, it would be unfair to suggest that they will ‘kill art’.

    • Thanks for your comment. If you think about it, the more funding is cut, the less opportunities will be out there and the arts will become something that is just a hobby, rather than something that people can earn a living from. Ok, it may not go completely, but it could make life very difficult for artists. The more funding is cut for arts education, the less artists there will be out there, so this is a real issue.