Director Richard Eyre has questioned the appointment of Maria Miller as culture secretary, while criticising the government’s failure to recognise the value of the arts.
In a recent speech made at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance’s graduation ceremony, Eyre, who is president of the institution, said arts graduates are living in “hard times”.
He warned against the temptation to disregard the importance of the arts because they cannot be measured in a quantifiable way.
He said: “But don’t let’s fall into the trap prepared by the government zealots of thinking that anything that can’t be measured or quantified or traded is to be discouraged and disparaged.
“We need the arts to help change our world. We need the arts to enable us to put ourselves in the minds, eyes, ears and hearts of other human beings.”
Eyre also asked why a politician with “no recorded interest in culture of any sort” had recently been appointed to the culture ministry and said the arts industry is being punished for its good fortune in the past.
Encouraging the role of graduates, he said: “The arts are weapons of understanding and weapons of happiness.”