[2018] ** Motion 40 Austerity, artists and discrimination

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Artists, particularly black and female and LGTBQ artists, who contribute economic, social, emotional and cultural value to this country, have experienced the worst of the Conservative austerity measures. The value of creative industries’ contribution to the UK economy is £250bn per year and increasing.

Yet this revenue fails to reach the individual artists. Congress notes from the ArtsProfessional online research, between July and August 2017, receiving 506 responses, from those working in or with the arts and culture sector, that 69 per cent agreed that local authority cuts are hitting grassroots arts the hardest. This has negative effects on artists, such as having to work for less money and receive less support for arts-led activities catering for young people and other vulnerable groups, such as those with mental health problems, who are suffering from an acute crisis in mental health and NHS resources. The role creative arts plays in mental health is vital, contributing to personal enrichment and community cohesion.

Congress instructs the General Council to :
i. campaign against discrimination, disadvantage and under-representation within art and culture
ii. lobby government to reinvest the £250bn contribution from creative industries back into said industries
iii. campaign to protect funding to the arts
iv. campaign to direct government funds towards community arts and grassroots creative businesses.

Artists’ Union England