Talking Pain in the Arts, John Tusa set out his vision of the current state of the arts in the UK on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.
Discussing everything from charges of elitism to funding, John Tusa defended the arts and set out his vision for their future in discussion with Matthew d’Ancona.
Responding to charges that it’s hard to justify arts funding when the country’s £900 billion in debt, John says: ‘the argument about the arts taking too much resource is baloney.’ With a reduction of more than 15%, the arts receive less than 0.05% of the national budget and many businesses have lost funding altogether. Despite this, Britain has the largest cultural economy in the world as a share of the GDP, with the arts sector generating £28 billion each year. ‘If you can ring-fence the aid budget’ John argues, ‘you can certainly ring-fence the arts budget which is a fraction of the size.’
Perhaps then we should all heed John’s advice that being ‘noisy is the only way of getting anywhere with Whitehall’.