July 19th, 2015Culture
Full disclosure: I’m working on the social media for the ILoveMuseums.com campaign.
The concept behind the campaign is to get enough signatures on a petitions to show government that we care about museums and can’t afford any more cuts to funding and budgets and still survive. I Love Museums is a campaign led by the National Museum Directors’ Council with support from: Arts Council England, Association of Independent Museums, Culture24, Museums Association, The Art Fund, University Museums Group, Army Museums Ogilby Trust.
I Love Museums launched in June, after the elections with a day of trending and people worldwide filling in the statement #ILoveMuseums because _______. There were over 1200 signatures in one day.
Since then, not much. We’ve have had people sharing visits with #ILoveMuseums but the support has seemed to wean off.
Last week I attended a debate at Parliament as MP Robert Jenrick asked for a ballot on Regional support for the arts. I went representing I Love Museums to live tweet (see Storify here). The #artsfunding debate is similar to #ILoveMuseums: stop the cuts and support museums and galleries outside of London as much as those in London.
Much of the public money that goes into the arts is channelled through Arts Council England (ACE), which receives a direct grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as distributing Lottery grants. As part of the general squeeze on public finances, the last Parliament saw significant reductions in the funds set aside for the arts. Some people feel that ‘prestige’, London-based organisations – galleries and museums, theatre, opera and ballet companies, orchestras, etc – continue to get preferential treatment from funders.
With the launch of its investment plans for 2015-18 in July 2014, ACE signalled its determination to rectify historic imbalances between London and the rest of England. There were specific initiatives to build capacity outside London, to encourage cultural communities to grow and to encourage touring.
After struggling to get the I Love Museums petition to 1500 sign ups, I tweeted this morning:
— Mar Dixon (@MarDixon) July 19, 2015
Some of the answers:
@MarDixon Maybe not publicised enough? Maybe not grass roots enough? Maybe not sure what it is for? Maybe bigger thing better for petition?
— Alexandra Woodall (@alexwoodall) July 19, 2015
— Kippelboy (@Kippelboy) July 19, 2015
— Tincture Of Museum (@TinctureOfMuse) July 19, 2015
— Adrian Murphy (@acediscovery) July 19, 2015
— Frieda Midgley (@Frieda_M) July 19, 2015
My question to you: What can we do to get you to take #ILoveMuseums and the #ArtsFunding debate seriously? Why do we constantly have to wait until we have a fight on our hands to show the love and respect we have for our culture?
As a strong supporter of NHS, libraries, young people and more, I know how tiring it is to always seem like we’re signing one petition over the other. I get it. But I also get we can NOT stop letting our voices heard. I Love Museums has the right partners and right people behind it – we just need the public to know this is about their access to culture for all!
- Please sign the petition
- Download the resources and share
- Find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr
Further Reading:Tags: #artsfunding, #ILoveMuseums, art, Culture, debate, I Love Museums, museums, petition, UK
Ok, I admit. I was mad/angry about the elections. Mad because I spent over a year trying to encourage people, young/old and everything in between to vote. Saying how important their vote was. Saying how valuable their opinion was. Then the Tories got in and it was like collectively we all threw the towel in – or the other extreme was we got our pitchforks at the ready.
Then I noticed that I actually didn’t know enough about those in office to have an opinion. Yes I know what social media was telling me but I had to stop and read things myself to get a bigger picture. And one thing I learned is I still don’t know but maybe, just maybe, we’re not dealing with the Devil here. Maybe we are dealing with people we need to work with to understand us. Naive maybe but really what is there to lose?
One thing that I do know is as a society we are incredibly incredibly strong. We are survivors. I have seen so many examples of those who have been going without helping those who don’t understand this new way of life. Bartering is common place with many communities. Do we prefer money? Absolutely! But we also get that our skills, our talents are worthy of more than just ‘green backs’. And in-kind (used appropriately) helps build stronger relationships.
I’m not advocating that no one should get paid – I’m advocating that we look to make positives changes while letting ‘those is power’ that we’re not going to being played a fool.
We’re creative (or so I’m told) so lets put the pitchforks down and be creative about our approach. Let’s not be reactionary but strategic in working towards a sustainable plan/journey. Let’s include museums, theatres, NHS, libraries, etc because all these resources are important for our society – and not just the UK.
My sister recently reminded me that we were brought up (like so many) without much. But we didn’t know any better because my mom didn’t let us be defeatist. Even though we didn’t have much, we gave what we did have to those who had less. It’s about leaving the world a better place than when we got here. We can NOT do that if we’re fighting and bickering and claiming one resources is more valuable then the other.
I don’t have many answers – but do know we need to change our anger and our negative words into positives actions. Sooner rather than later.