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Dear [MP name goes here],
I am a constituent living at [your address goes here].
I am writing in support of musicians in the Northern Ballet Sinfonia and their campaign to keep Northern Ballet music live.
As a result of standstill funding and increases in the cost of touring, Northern Ballet management are considering using recorded music instead of the live orchestra.
[How does this make you feel? Use this space to share your personal experiences of live ballet, in particular Northern Ballet, and the importance of live music to it. You could be a musician, audience member, donor, local teacher. Describe how the axing musicians will affect you and people in your constituency]
Moreover, replacing live musicians with a recording means less work for musicians, who will go from an already slimmed down tour of 20 weeks of work a year to just three or four weeks of work a year. What will happen to musicians then?
The Musicians' Union reports that members are already turning to foodbanks before these cuts. How is it acceptable that world-class musicians working for an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation are relying on foodbanks to survive?
Axing musicians from touring work also means people in England who rely on Northern Ballet’s touring provision will no longer have access to live ballet that is a genuinely live experience.
Fewer young people will see that being a musician is a career option open to them. Local theatres that rely on touring shows will get a lower quality product – disproportionately affecting people outside of London and in rural areas.
The UK should be proud of its world-class music and arts, not letting them wither on the vine. Other countries like Germany and France invest heavily in music and the arts because they know it drives economic growth, creates jobs, gives people opportunities, improves mental health and wellbeing, and creates moments of connection and joy that make life worth living. Recognising this, the Scottish First Minister recently announced a doubling of funding for arts and culture in Scotland.
As my MP, I ask you to:
- Write to Arts Council England urging them to get round the table with Northern Ballet and find a realistic funding solution that protects musicians’ jobs and live ballet that is genuinely live
- Make a statement in support of musicians at Northern Ballet and their campaign to keep Northern Ballet music live
- Contact the Musicians’ Union for a full briefing on this campaign and wider impact of arts funding cuts
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