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.
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.