[FROM THE PAPER] Arts Funding: Necessary or Waste of Cash?

By Luke Meyers - Chief Culture Reporter

One of the arguments raised as a part of the EU referendum is the question of funding for the arts.

The European pro-arts attitude is one of the things which has most influenced my own view on the vote. But why is arts funding so important? There seems to be two general opinions in Britain when it comes to providing money for the arts. Those who recognise that the arts are and extremely important and useful area of our culture, and therefore highly worth funding, and those who do not seem to understand the impact that the arts have on their day to day life, generally arguing that money could be spent in a much more practical manner elsewhere.

Education is often stated as an area more deserving of the money spent on supporting the arts, and whilst I completely agree that investing in the future of our children and providing them with the best possible opportunities for their future is extremely important, I would like to point out that I have found the arts to be one of the most effective means of teaching and inspiring people of all ages.

Visual and interactive mediums provide a fantastic alternative method of learning to the usual talks and textbooks, allowing teachers to engage pupils who would usually slip through the net. Surely it would not make sense to lose such a useful device, due to this I can never see any funding that goes to the arts as being taken away from education.
It’s not just education that makes the arts important though. Whether through theatre, TV, Film, Music, or images, everyone in the country is affected and influenced by the arts industry in some form or another.

Do you enjoy watching Films in your spare time? Have a favourite Television Series? Pass the time on the way into work or uni by donning your headphones and humming along to your favourite tunes? Imagine what life would be like if none of those things existed. Without the arts life seems much greyer.

In a society where freedom of speech is so highly valued surely the easiest, most effective and most colourful way of expressing yourself is through the arts. If you value freedom, diversity, creativity and equality, then the arts are crucial, and not a single penny spent on supporting them would be wasted.

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