Speaking up for the arts

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New Writing North and many other arts and cultural organisations across the country are thinking about the forthcoming government spending review and are encouraging people to do all they can to speak up for public funding for the arts. There are a number of ways we are encouraging people to get involved.

What Next?
What Next? is a national movement that brings together people who are interested in culture, to champion its role in our society. There are over 30 ‘chapters’ in towns and cities around the country and a new one has just been set up in the North East. What Next? NewcastleGateshead meets every Friday 12.30-1.30 pm at Space Six, Floor Six, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, and everyone is welcome to come along. It is a forum for all voices: individual writers and artists, people employed in the cultural sector and people who are interested in the cultural life of the north east. It encourages discussion and debate, and a collective response to local, regional and national issues affecting culture. If you are interested in being part of lobbying for a positive future for culture in the North East in these very uncertain times, then please do come along. For more information contact [email protected] or follow @whatnextng on Twitter.

There are chapters in Manchester and Liverpool, Shipley, Hull, Lancashire Sheffield and imminently, Darlington too. Check out for details.

Spending Review
This Autumn the Chancellor is making decisions about government spending for the next four years. He is currently asking all departments to plan for cuts of between 25% and 40%. If funding for the arts is kept at current levels then the UK will be able to continue as a world leader; as the rocket fuel for our creative industries, for the economy and for society. To make this happen we need the MP in every constituency to become a champion for the arts and to write to the Chancellor to tell him why they are so important. You can make this happen by becoming part of the Arts for Britain campaign.

White Paper

Separate to the spending review but happening at the same time, the DCMS is producing the first ‘White Paper on the Arts’ for 50 years. Contributions are now being invited by the DCMS on the first of four themes within the White Paper—that of the role Culture can play in shaping communities and places, to have your say click here. You can also join the conversation and share postings on your own social media channels, using the #OurCulture hashtag.