LABOUR’S arts manifesto, which promises to reinvest in the creative sector rather than make more crippling cuts, received praise from actors yesterday.
Central and local government budget squeezes, along with uncertainties linked to Brexit, pose a rising threat to the future of the arts, the Equity conference heard.
North and east London branch’s Shenagh Govan noted Labour’s promise to put the creative sector “at the heart” of Brexit negotiations.
She also highlighted its pledge of a £1 billion culture fund and an end to local authority budget cuts, which have often hit arts funding.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched the party’s culture manifesto in Hull yesterday, with the party warning that the arts sector could become “shackled by Brexit.”
Ms Govan said: “We don’t know what will happen on June 8, but we do know we have a fight on our hands for arts funding. We must challenge the unfair distribution of funds and cuts.”
Equity was urged to set up a new arts policy and campaign working party, representative of branches and committees.
The policy will incorporate Equity’s Manifesto for Theatre and Stop Arts Cuts campaigns and the TUC’s Show Culture Some Love campaign.
The campaigns all aim to increase wages and funding, including calling for local arts funding to rise in line with inflation, and also to win more representative employment and broader arts access.
Ms Govan added: “We need to announce the central tenants of our new policy out of our echo chamber to help achieve our aims. If we don’t, then the future of government and arts council funding will sadly look bleak.”