Hundreds march to protest art cuts

Photo: CNP

Photo: CNP

Hundreds of people in Cardiff protested against the possible cut to the city’s art budget. Cardiff Council is making cuts to bridge its £45 million deficit.

Elaborately dressed protesters gathered before the National Museum on Saturday, despite the bad weather. With empty picture frames and a coffin, they said they were mourning the death of the arts. That is what they think will happen if the city makes the £700,000 cut to the arts budget. While some protesters were worried the cut will affect the cultural environment of the city, others thought it is economically short-sighted.

Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of Green Party of England and Wales, was present at the protest. She said in an interview that she understood the council had to make difficult decisions and protect basic services. However, she said, Cardiff uses its arts scene to attract tourists, and it is crucial in its tourism advertising. Cutting its budget is ultimately bad for the economy according to her.

Arts Protest 3

Photo: CNP

The council has been making cuts to save money since 2010. It relies on the Welsh government for more than half of its funding. This has been severely cut under austerity measures.

Cate Hopkins, an Image Licensing Assistant at the National Museum, delivered a speech at the demonstration. She was concerned that such cuts would threaten her job security. She is a part-time worker on a temporary contract. Hopkins claims that it is difficult to find stable work in the culture sector because no one wants to commit to supporting it financially. The budget cuts could mean a 12% cut to her salary, which would be a lot of money to lose.

The budget is now open to public consultation. The council will make its final decision on 25th of February.

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