Sunday 31st May
In a special keynote speech, former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn MP, issues ‘A Call To The Arts’, a shout out and rallying cry to people everywhere, artists, creatives, local communities, celebrating and arguing for the value of arts and culture now and in the future.
The arts have been a vital lifeline during the lockdown and it has given us a new appreciation for how they entertain and give us the tools to express and create responses to the times we are living through. Whether we engage with the arts daily or if we're doing it for the first time, we are utilising the arts and culture in new, exciting ways as we home-school, keep ourselves stimulated and even when we want to relax and be entertained. The idea of enduring lockdown without any access to the arts is a dire one. Imagine no writing, reading, music, films, theatre, painting, drawing, making, singing, dancing, crafting or photography? It doesn’t bear thinking about it.
Many across the world have little or no access to the arts and culture many of us take for granted. Finance, issues with access, understanding the value of seeing ourselves represented in the arts are challenges that faced by arts organisations and artists who are being called to step-up and make their work accessible, valuable and meaningful while we reassess our lives in lockdown.
We ourselves are being called to the arts to help us through these times, for escape, for remedy, for clarity, for belonging, for entertainment. How can we as individuals work with and be informed by the arts industry to sustain a meaningful, accessible and enjoyable relationship to the arts in our lives?
As leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn pledged a ‘cultural renaissance’ whose ambitious plans included investing £1billion to transform the UK’s cultural landscape, invest £175 million annual in an arts pupil premium to give every primary school student in the country access to creative and cultural experiences, as well as a new ‘Town of Culture’ competition, maintaining free access to national museums and galleries, and ensuring all have access to the internet. His vision earned him the support of the Grime community including superstar Stormzy and the hashtag #Grime4Corbyn was set trending around the UK.
This promises to be one of the most exciting contributions, from a man who changed the political landscape of the UK, and inspired a mass membership of the Labour Party, making it the biggest social democratic party in the world.