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When the going gets tough the tough start blogging
Government must continue to invest in the arts says National Theatre boss Hytner
November 25, 2012Posted by on
National Theatre boss Sir Nicholas Hytner has a message for new Culture Secretary Maria Miller and it’s one she doesn’t want to hear.
Hytner will tell her that a Government that slashes arts budgets and demands that that organisations like the NT go cap in hand for private funding, is a Government that is squandering the nation’s theatrical heritage.
He has pointed out that the National and other institutions like the British Museum and Tate are good at finding backers simply because they have the bedrock support of the Government in the first place.
Ms Miller, part of a Coalition that has already cut arts council budgets by 30 per cent, has incensed arts leaders by demanding that they become “better askers” and find private companies and philanthropists to stump up the readies
But the National has already seen a cut subsidy that amounts to 15 per cent in real terms over the past four years. Hytner fears that more cuts could spell the start of long-term decline.
He has a point. Imagine you’re a multi-millionaire do gooder seeking to lavish a large sum of money on a worthwhile institution. I suspect you’d be far more inclined to reach for your cheque book if a place was already endorsed by the Government with a solid cash investment.