Following today’s launch of Jeremy Corbyn’s comprehensive arts strategy in Edinburgh to coincide with the last few days of the Fringe Festival, a number of world renowned artists, filmmakers, actors and musicians have backed Corbyn’s plans.
Oscar winning actor, Mark Rylance, said:
“I welcome and wholeheartedly support Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of a Labour Government that works to open access for all people to the Arts around them in society and also the creative artist within each person as well. If I learnt anything from my ten years as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe I learnt that Shakespeare and his fellows charged people very little, only a penny, to attend his plays. That penny is roughly the equivalent of five pounds in today’s money.
All arts in Britain should be helped by the government to provide this Shakespearean access. I believe Jeremy has the vision and will to support this. I also know from experience that expression of ourselves through the arts, all arts, is an essential tool of mental and physical health. Investing in the Arts as Jeremy Corbyn proposes is a beneficial step for all. I hope my fellow artists will stand behind his vision and leadership.”
Franscesa Martinez, Comedian, said:
“It’s wonderful to see Jeremy making such a deep commitment to support the arts. All too often, the arts are presented as a luxury which can be discarded by politicians at times of financial strife. But I share Jeremy’s belief that a thriving culture is integral to creating a fair society where everyone can flourish. It’s so important that the arts are accessible to everyone, and are not limited to only those who can afford to enjoy them or purse a career in them.
“Art saved my life by allowing me to confront prejudice through humour. It’s a rare thing to have a politician who recognises that art is one of the most valuable things in life and is what makes us human.”
Actress Maxine Peake said:
“It is vital that the next Labour government ensures that everyone has the opportunity for their creativity to flourish. Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for the arts sets out how we can do this so that people from across the country, regardless of their background, can truly develop.”
Michael Rosen, former children’s laureate and Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, said:
“I am delighted to support this wholehearted and socially minded arts policy reversing years of downgrading, cutting and privatising in the arts sector. Arts are for all; all for the arts!”
Filmmaker, Ken Loach, said:
“This is a vitally important document for all who care about the arts, libraries and museums, not forgetting the cinema and broadcasting too.
“In particular, we should note the commitment to end privatisation and outsourcing in museums and galleries and establish proper wages and conditions for those who work there.
“It reasserts the great principle from the Labour party’s 1945 manifesto that everyone, wherever they live and whatever their background, ‘should have full access’ to our ‘great heritage of culture’.
“We have waited and campaigned for many years for this to become a reality. We can only secure it with a victory for Jeremy Corbyn and the energy and creativity that it will bring.”
Comedian Josie Long, said:
“Since founding arts emergency in 2010, a charity that sets out to support and mentor young people to study and pursue the arts, I have seen time and time again how difficult it has become for young people to access. It’s a waste of our collective talent and potential and it harms us as a society.”
“Arts in education isn’t just about career though – creativity enriches our whole society. Young people who are allowed to develop creative and critical practice become better resourced citizens”
“It’s essential that we all have a chance to practice and study the arts, because it makes life better for all of us, and contributes to every other part of our society.”
Artists collaboration Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips, said:
“Jeremy Corbyn’s Arts Policy recognises that culture is crucial in the building of a fair and just society. It’s concerned with giving access to the arts in every community and developing a plan to support cultural workers to reach people wherever they are. At present the passion and commitment of cultural workers is being squeezed by government cuts. Cultural work that has developed organically in and with a community is suddenly starved of the resources they need to develop.
“Corbyn’s Arts Policy recognises that art workers are the canary down the mine in any decent society. They act as early warning systems, critiquing, analysing and celebrating that society. Their work with communities draws people in to give voice to their lives. His policy puts the arts as central in building a better world for all.”
Comedian Frankie Boyle, said:
“The arts and Britain’s proud cultural heritage has for too long been systematically undermined by a Tory led government intent on pursuing a failed, cruel and counter-productive austerity agenda.”
“I welcome Jeremy’s radical commitment to support British creative industries and widen access to the arts to all. Access to and participation in the arts has the power to transform people’s lives.
Only with a government that appreciates the intrinsic value of supporting our creative sectors will we unlock our huge creative potential. Jeremy Corbyn’s bold pledge to restore the arts to the heart of policy making should be welcomed. His vision for achieving a culturally rich, more prosperous future for our country is one I endorse.”
- The full policy document can be viewed here.