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Pre-election drive launched to lobby politicians over arts funding crisis

A campaign has been launched to lobby MPs over arts funding cuts ahead of the general election.

Operation Mobilise is the brainchild of Tamasha Theatre co-artistic director Fin Kennedy, who also wrote the 2013 report In Battalions on the impact of cuts on new writing [1].

The original report found that more than 60% of respondents had been forced to cancel or postpone at least one production since April 2012 and that 58% of companies surveyed were producing fewer plays than previous seasons.

Its findings were debated in parliament and the report was followed up with an open letter to culture minster Ed Vaizey that attracted support from figures including Helen Mirren, Mike Leigh and Tom Stoppard.

Kennedy is now urging the industry to send a copy of the 2013 report to MPs ahead of the general election in a bid to move the arts funding crisis up the political agenda.

“We’re saying to MPs that given that all the pieces are up in the air we’d like to know what your party policy is on protecting funding of arts and culture should you be elected,” he said.

He added: “It’s not that we’re expecting anyone to say ‘Here’s your funding back’ but we’re trying to make clear the effects on the sector and the concerns around new work and new talent. It’s not so much that theatre’s going to disappear, it’s that the opportunities to access the profession for newcomers are going to dry up.”

Take part in Operation Mobilise http://www.finkennedy.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/in-battalions-operation-mobilise.html [2]