Culture Sector & Covid: Virtual Day of Action 8 July

The PCS Culture group will hold a day of online action on 8 July stepping up our campaign demanding emergency funding to avert the crisis in the culture sector.

The culture sector across the UK is approaching a point of crisis. The impacts of Covid-19 on the sector have been dramatic, with institutions all over the country being forced to close for what would otherwise have been some of their busiest times.

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PCS continues to press the Department of Digital Media and Sport to provide the additional funding that the sector so desperately needs. But so far, except platitudes in the press, the government has made no meaningful commitment to the sector. The reality of this means that our cultural organizations must now be prepared to use their, sometimes massive, financial reserves to protect jobs and terms across the sector during the Covid-19 recovery.

Sadly our calls to save our sector have not been heeded and we are now seeing the first large scale redundancies in the sector, with workers at institutions such as the Tate, National Gallery, Southbank Centre, the Historic Royal Palaces and even the Royal Household.

To help us in our calls to protect our culture and heritage workers PCS is holding an online day of action on Wednesday 8 July,via Facebook Live, where we will bring attention to the crisis in culture, and our culture group page will be taken over by those workers whose future employment is at risk, so you can hear from them directly.

Our Twitter will be taken over by workers at the following places!

11:00-12:00- Tate Enterprise

12:00-13:00- Historic Royal Palaces

13:00-14:00- PCS Culture Black Members’ Network

14:00- 15:00- Southbank Centre

15:00 – 16:00 National Gallery

16:00- 17:00 Outsourced workers

To support us on 8 July we are asking members to do the following:

  • Share the PCS petition asking for emergency funding for culture with the hastags #CrisisInCulture and #CultureVsCovid
  • Share a photograph of yourself holding a sign with Crisis in Culture or Culture vs. Covid written on it. Use the above hashtags and Tweet @PCSCultureGroup. Extra points for imaginative or creative photos!
  • Take part in the “twitterstorm” retweeting, commenting and posting the tweets on the culture group pages, messages of support are especially welcome! Remember to use the hashtags #CrisisInCulture and #CultureVsCovid

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Who are We?

Show Culture Some Love
Artwork created by Bob and Roberta Smith for the campaign

The “Show Culture Some Love” campaign was launched in March 2015 at a conference organised by the CLIC Southern & Eastern Region of the TUC alongside PCS Culture Group, BECTU, MU, Equity, TSSA and UCU; visual and performance artists; academics; Students campaign groups and supporters of arts and culture.

We have held 3 conferences in London, took part in the national demonstration for Libraries and Museums, supported numerous Trade union campaigns, produced a disobedient exhibition, held protests and lobbies to support Art and Culture as human rights. We are now building the movement in the Regions and Nations

Our main aims are to campaign for an end to the cuts in arts and culture budgets caused by the pro-austerity policies of the current government and to make the case for greater investment in the sector.

In 2015, we unanimously agreed a six-point program at the conference to use and lobby candidates at the General Elections 2015 (see page on the 2015 Pledges). Supporters were asked to contact the candidates standing as parliamentary candidates in the constituency in which they live to secure support for some pledges related to arts and culture. Our second conference was held in March 2016. A number of workshops took place that looked at specific aspects of the six-point program and developed a number of “action points” around them. This program and strategy have been further developed at the 2017 conference as well as at events held in other parts of the country (see Regions and Nations pages).

It was agreed that our main aims should be to stop cuts to arts budgets and make the case for greater investment. Access to Art and Culture is not only a Human Right but can also help tackle racism and discrimination, improve health and contribute positively to the economy. As a result of our efforts, a number of the Show Culture Some Love demands were integrated in to Jeremy Corbyn’s Art Policy.

Solidarity

Show Culture Some Love also exists to help promote solidarity and publicise campaigns in the culture sector. These include the BECTU campaign in Picturehouse cinemas to secure the London Living Wage; the PCS disputes at the National Gallery and National Museums Wales; organizing the first national demonstration for museums and libraries on 5 November 2016; the #Art4Rights exhibition with Disabled People Against Cuts; the closure of Birmingham Museums; and bringing together all the unions in the arts and culture sector in London on 14 February around the theme of “Love Culture, Love Culture Unions” as part of the TUC’s “Heart Unions” week.

Building the Campaign

In addition to the support given by trade unions in the sector, the campaign has also grown on social media. We have nearly 2,000 supporters on Facebook and 1,175 on Twitter. We have support from the Creative & Leisure Industry Committees in London and the South-East, the Midlands and Yorkshire & Humberside Regions. We also have groups in both Scotland and Wales.

Follow us on Twitter

Like our page on Facebook

OUR SUPPORTERS

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Trade unions

Artists Union England            @ArtistsUnionE 

BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union)      @bectu

Equity          @EquityUK 

PCS Culture Group           @PCSCultureGroup 

SERTUC (South East Region Trade union Congress)

The Musicians’ Union           @WeAreTheMU 

WGGB (Writers’ Guild of Great Britain)                      @TheWritersGuild

Campaign Groups

Art Not Oil      @ArtNotOil

Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC UK)       @BARACUK

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)       @Dis_PPL_Protest  – Check out the Art4Rights exhibition