On Saturday 25 March 2017, we held the 3rd Show Culture Some Lover conference on “The Future of the Arts & Culture”
This conference aimed to address some of the critical questions facing the culture sector. How do we fight back against the impact of the austerity agenda on arts & culture? How do we ensure that the arts are challenging discriminations? How do we support trade unions fighting low pay and attacks on their terms & conditions? What policies could we expect from a future Corbyn-led government? What is next for the arts in the context of Brexit and how do we develop alternative policies to austerity? How do we build on successful campaign such as the 5th November demonstration for museums & libraries?
The opening session was chaired by Clara Paillard, the President of PCS Culture Group who introduced the keynotes speakers:
- Julie Ward, MEP
- Hamida Ali (Equalities Officer, Equity)
- Zita Holbourne, (artist-poet-activist, PCS Vice-President & Co-Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts)
- Alan Gibbons (The Library Campaign)
Workshops Contributions included:
BECTU Picturehouse strikers, National Museums Wales dispute, Disabled People Against Cuts, Artists Union England, Equity, The Musicians Union, National Gallery, National Museums Wales & Tate activists, Roots Culture Identity Art collective, DadaFest, Shake!, International Slavery Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Culture Matters, Kings College, Museum Detox, Queering Museums, young artists, Culture Unstained
Click on images below to see full workshops details:
A number of sessions were livestreamed: check out the Facebook page
The 2nd Conference took place on Saturday 12 March 2016 at TUC Congress House.
The Opening Session was chaired by Nicola Hawkins, Chair of the CLIC Committee (SERTUC) and discussed the claim that George Osborne’s recent budget has “solved all our problems” in the arts & culture sector. What’s the reality?”
Julie Ward, European MEP in charge of Cultural portfolio
Dr. David Fleming, President of the Museums Association
Clara Paillard, President of PCS Culture Sector
- Campaigns with Chris Jury, (Writers Guild of Great Britain), “BBC: Love it or Lose it” campaign; Christina Paine, (UCU/CLIC), “Save the Cass” campaign; Candy Udwin, (PCS/CLIC), PCS National Gallery dispute; Nia Hughes, BECTU, Ritzy Living Wage Campaign. Chair: Tom Taylor, (Secretary, CLIC).
- Equalities with Giovanni Bienne, Chair of the Equity LGBT Committee, Antonietta Torsiello, artist; Karla Sweet – Arts Emergency Creative Producer, Bridget Conor, Kings College London, Senior Lecturer, Culture Media and Creative Industries and Mike Jackson, Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners. Chaired by Rob Lugg – BECTU LGBT Committee Chair, TUC LGBT Committee, Ritzy Cinema Striker
- Art & Protest: Art as a weapon with Jess Worth & Danny Chivers, Art Not Oil; Ellen Clifford, Disabled People Against Cuts; Rose Delcour-Min, Tate rep & MA in Visual Sociology, Goldsmiths and Samia Malik, artist. Chair: Hayley Hare, Artist Union England
- Defend the arts: No to cuts, closures & privatisation with Greg Childs, Children’s Media Foundation); Jamie Pullman, Organiser for the Musicians’ Union; Tracy Edwards, PCS, Helen Watson, Friends of Redbridge Music Services. Chair: Jane Perry, BECTU President
On Saturday 14 March, we organised the conference on “The Future of Arts & Culture” with 6 culture Trade Unions and 11 campaign groups, academics and artists. This was the start of cultural resistance against austerity.
We believe there is a powerful case against austerity and budget cuts and for public investment in arts & culture. Arts and culture cost just 14p per person per week. For every £1 invested up to £6 is generated for the economy. 78% of adults attended or participated in the arts in 2014. Creative industries employ 2.5 million people. People who visited a museum are 20% more likely to report good health and 37% more likely to report higher life satisfaction than those who did not. The corporate capitalist model for funding arts & culture is flawed and will cause a further damaging impact on access to culture as a human right and as a public service. We believe there is an alternative – but this requires the cuts to budgets to be stopped and arts and culture to be properly funded.
The introduction plenary session was chaired by Megan Dobney, SER TUC Regional Secretary with the following speakers:
- Chris Baugh, PCS Assistant General Secretary
- Eleonora Belfiore, Warwick University
- Jo Carter, (Artistic Director, Immediate Theatre Company)
- Zita Holbourne, Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts
- Culture workers: No to Victorian working conditions! with Prof Mark Banks, (Leicester University), Nia Hughes, (BECTU), Rick Finlay (Musicians Union), Kat Dyer (PCS), Hayley Hare, (Artists Union).
- Culture or profit? Is the corporate world taking over the arts? with Art not Oil, Campaign against Arms Trade, PCS
- Is art education becoming a luxury? with Antoinetta Torsiello, (artist), Michael Wayne, (SERTUC Creative & Leisure Industries Committee), Neil Griffiths, (Arts Emergency), Shelly Asquith, (President, University of the Arts Student Union).
- Public ownership, Privatisations & the impact of gentrification on the arts with Samia Malik, (artist), Anna Minton, (journalist) Candy Udwin, (PCS National Gallery), Deborah Mason, (Artists Assembly Against Austerity).
The concluding plenary session asked: what way forward to reclaim arts & Culture? Chaired by Clara Paillard, President of PCS Culture Sector, it explored how unions and campaign groups can work together to identify a number of common principles to develop an Alternative Vision for the arts & culture and campaign.
The event concluded with a radical evening of entertainment & networking with Chip Grim (compere), Janine Booth, (poet), Maddy Carty, (singer), Tim Wells, (poet), Steve White and the Protest Family Band + Short films