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Play Resource adds their support to No More Cuts for the Arts campaign

Thursday 11th December 2014 at 10am 0 Comments

Bridget Lindsay and Gail McGarvey from Play Resource pictured with pupils from St Mary's Primary School who recently created an 13p artwork to show their support and raise awareness of the 13P campaign, Image: Bridget Lindsay and Gail McGarvey from Play Resource pictured with pupils from St Mary's Primary School who recently created an 13p artwork to show their support and raise awareness of the 13P campaign,

Play Resource centre for creativity, based in North Belfast, recently held an art workshop for children from St Mary’s Primary School to show their support and raise awareness of the 13P campaign.

The campaign led by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, calls for ‘No More Cuts to the Arts’ in the 2015-16 budget. 

The organisation, principally supported by Arts Council lottery funding, works with children, young people and communities through the arts and creative play also providing training and outreach work.  The charity has built excellent relationships with industry such as Ikea, to collect waste materials and recycle it into a free resource. 

Gail McGarvey, Director, Play Resource, commented: “The work we carry out with children and young people crosses into health and wellbeing as well as education.  Play and creative expression are essential for a child’s learning and development and the fun and enjoyment gained through engaging in arts activities produces a more positive attitude to learning generally.  We fully support the Arts Council’s 13p campaign for no more cuts to the arts.  Participation in the arts enables young people to develop self-esteem, confidence and a sense of pride, and at a measly 13p per week per head, that’s an awful lot of return for very little financial investment.”

Fionnuala Walsh, Head of Participatory and Community Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “Play Resource is a fantastic organisation which provides real value and benefit to the development of the local children, young people and communities who avail of its services.  The value of the arts to helping theses children express and develop themselves and be allowed the time to be creative, is really, really important.”

The draft budget for Northern Ireland 2015-16 is out now for public consultation and proposes a 10% cut to the budget for the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure. That translates as an 11.2% cut to direct public funding for the arts.  This is the biggest cut yet for the arts and culture sectors. It follows on the back of six successive cuts, including two this year alone, and would set the Arts Council’s budget back a decade to below 2005/06 levels.  Currently the NI government invests just 13p per head of population per week in direct funding for the arts. To put that into context, the annual arts budget would sustain the Health Service for less than one day. Yet this relatively tiny investment in the arts of 0.1% (1/1000th) of total government spending brings BIG returns for Northern Ireland. 

Further details about the campaign are available here.

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