Northern Stage want to stress that the Newcastle City Council proposal to cut all arts funding across the next three years is just that – a proposal.
You can see all of the proposed Council budgets and, importantly, feedback on the proposals here: http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/news-story/fair-choices-tough-times
On the 15 November, Northern Stage Chief Executive Erica Whyman spoke at a press conference at the National Theatre alongside their CEO, Nick Hytner, and Danny Boyle in which they campaigned not to cut the arts funding in regional theatres.
At this conference she announced, with permission from the City Council, that Newcastle City Council feel they are being forced by government to consider cutting its entire arts budget over 3 years.
You can read Erica's Whyman's original statement from the National Theatre here.
And this is her subsequent statement to the press on 20th November:
Erica Whyman said, on the threatened cuts to culture in Newcastle; “I have fallen in love with the North East over the last seven years and I wouldn’t be going to the RSC if it hadn’t been for everything I’ve been able to do and learn at Northern Stage. Newcastle City Council’s position is that they are having to make very savage cuts to their overall budget and feel forced to consider cutting funds to cultural organisations altogether. The council have led the way in understanding the value of culture to a city's health and well being and have held onto cultural investment pretty tenaciously in recent years. It would be a very disappointing u-turn if these threatened cuts come to pass and would deeply damage Newcastle's ability to compete culturally and economically on a world stage. No-one is suggesting culture should be exempt but we must remember that our theatres, galleries and museums are very significant contributors to the local economy, and to the vibrancy and confidence of a place . These so-called non-essential services are essential to people’s quality of life and we can't afford to lose them. The savings available in cash terms if the arts are cut are genuinely tiny compared with the good we do.”
Below are links to some of the major press articles covering the story.
Newcastle City Council Proposals in the Press:
* The Journal: Includes coverage of the NT press conference and a quote from Erica: Read here.
* Dave Whetstone (The Journal Culture Editor) makes an Economic Argument for investing in this month’s Culture Magazine: Read here
* Alison Clark-Jenkins (Regional Director of Arts Council North East) on the regional cuts in The Journal last week: Read here
* An article by Lee Hall (written for but unpublished in The Guardian) in which he analyses NCC’s proposed cuts: Read here
* Guardian article on the ‘war of words’ between Lee Hall and the leader of the council (includes a quote from Erica): Read here
National Articles covering the National Theatre Press Conference
* The Guardian news article
* BBC News article
* The Stage article
* Evening Standard article
National Articles since the NT Conference discussing the cuts nationally:
* Michael Billington defends regional theatre in The Guardian: Read here
* Lyn Gardner (The Guardian Theatre critic) argues against slashing Newcastle’s arts budget: Read here
* Interview with Nick Hytner that talks about the cuts: Read here
Published on 29/11/2012 10:37:19