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Take Part in Arts Council England Funding Cuts Protest on Tuesday 22 November

Join MU, Equity and BECTU members outside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for a protest against cuts to English National Opera and other arts organisations.

Published: 18 November 2022 | 5:18 PM Updated: 18 November 2022 | 5:57 PM
Entrance sign to the UK government building for the DCMS on London's Whitehall, England.
Join the MU on Tuesday 22 November from 11am outside the DCMS building at 100 Parliament Street. Photo: Shutterstock

Join us on Tuesday 22 November from 11am outside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) building at 100 Parliament Street to tell Government: reverse the cuts and increase arts funding.

Email london@theMU.org to let us know you're coming.

Why is the MU protesting?

Arts Council England announced major cuts in public funding to English National Opera (ENO) and other arts organisations earlier this month.

ENO and Britten Sinfonia have both been cut from the National Portfolio. That means a 100% cut to their guaranteed Arts Council funding.

Among music organisations who have received damaging cuts, Welsh National Opera has lost a third of its ACE funding, Royal Opera House has been cut 9%, and English National Ballet has been cut 5%.

While the Musicians' Union supports increased funding for arts organisations outside of London, Arts Council England has made a deliberate decision to do so at a direct cost to others in and outside of London. These cuts put full time jobs at risk during a cost of living crisis. This is not “levelling up”.

It is good news that many brilliant organisations have received new or additional funding. But let’s be clear: Government has allowed public funding for the arts to diminish over the past decade. It’s down 46% in real terms since 2005. The UK’s world leading arts sector needs more investment, not less, to keep it world leading and protect the working people at its heart.

“They are feeding the roots while hacking at the trunk of the tree and expecting it to grow” – MU Regional Organiser for London Jamie Pullman

Solidarity with actors, writers and other workers

It’s not just musicians who will be affected. Many theatres that support emerging actors and writers have been cut from the National Portfolio too, including The Donmar Warehouse, Oldham Coliseum, Hampstead Theatre, The Watermill, The Gate, and Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme.

As well as supporting members, the MU stands in solidarity with the many Equity, BECTU and The Writers’ Guild members who will also be affected.

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