Dowden does not want to let anyone down – cue laughter

There was an article in the Guardian on the 18th June 2020, “Act to save industry, leading lights of stage urge government” . Dowden was quoted as saying  “he does not want to let anyone down”. Well his insouciance to date has let a whole raft of jazz musicians and volunteer jazz promoters down and almost out for the count. I see no concrete thinking of where we want to be?

What is required is leadership and bold actions. Firstly there needs to be a Marshall Aid Plan for the arts, secondly the development of a national arts plan that brings all the components of the arts together from pubs to cinemas; from opera houses to folk and jazz clubs, from theatres to art galleries. Thirdly, a national arts festival to reboot the arts. Finally there needs to be a reformation in the funding of the arts with an organisation that can deliver a rolling, realistic and coherent national plan for the arts that ensures equitable funding where under-represented musics and art forms finally get a place in the sun.

For the avoidance of doubt in 2018/19, Opera received ÂŁ57.1 million, classical music ÂŁ19 million and jazz ÂŁ1.6 million. Classical music concerts are attended by 3.4 million people, 2.1 million people attend jazz concerts and 1.7 million people attend opera.


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