Labour Marks Out Its Future Arts Policy

Arts not a second-rate sector states Shadow Culture Minister Dan Jarvis

Labour MP and Shadow Culture Minister, Dan Jarvis, has announced that he is to launch a report into ‘Arts in the Regions.’ Speaking after the announcement, the Barnsley MP explained, “I am proud of what the last Labour government did for the Arts in Britain. The creation of a Ministry for Culture was groundbreaking and the rewards evident as the arts and creative industries flourished in the decade that followed. “At the moment, the government have embarked on dangerous cuts to arts organisations and instead believe philanthropic donations can plug the funding gap. This is a major gamble and lacks a coherent strategy for the development of art across the regions. “The UK Creative industries is not, as the government has treated it, a second-rate sector; it is a world class leader. So I am committed to ensuring that the government never lose sight of the economic significance of the industry and that they fully appreciate how vital it is in shaping out cultural and social outlook.
Over the coming months, Jarvis will be exploring ways to ensure that the Creative industries maximise the potential of the next decade, not just in London, but right across the country. He will be looking at regional investment in arts and culture as well as ways to open up apprenticeships and jobs in the industry. Additionally, Jarvis promises to study Darren Henley’s Independent Review of Cultural Education very carefully and fight to make sure that Michael Gove fully appreciates the importance of cultural education in schools.”“I want to find out if philanthropists with the money to spare are more likely to spend the money on arts organisations in cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester then they are in Luton, Barnsley and Middlesbrough? If that is the case, how are we going to ensure that the arts remain vibrant in these places? “That is the challenge.
“In order for the arts to remain alive in towns and communities across the regions, we will need to ensure cultural education is at the heart of the curriculums taught in schools and colleges up and down the country. Jarvis said, ” I am in no doubt that the EBac which Michael Gove has introduced will erode our creative edge”. He added, “A cultural legacy built on the cheap has no hope of lasting. Sustained investment in schools, infrastructure, maintenance and breakthrough technology will. The arts must be nurtured and not neglected and that is what I intend to do.”

Here is the outline.

1. Promoting growth and jobs in the Creative Industries
2. Nurturing Creativity in young people across the UK
3. Celebrating the importance of our Heritage across the UK
4. Developing the cultural and creative legacy of the Olympics
5. Articulating a vision for a 21st century library

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis was appointed as a Shadow Minister in Labour’s Culture, Media, Olympics and Sports team where he will work for the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Secretary of State, Harriet Harman. Jarvis, will join the Culture, Media and Sport team in a crucial year for the department with the phone hacking inquiry reports and the Olympic Games both coming to a head in 2012.  Jarvis stated, “It’s obvious to me that the British economy’s recovery depends on sectors that are capable of providing growth year-on-year and the Creative economy is one of these. Therefore, I have identified five key areas that effort will be focused on over the coming months.

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