Today (Tuesday 5 January) a group of artists, arts professionals and organisations met in response to Cardiff's proposed budget for 2016-17. The reason for the meeting is that some of the budget proposals, if taken forward, will have a profound and lasting impact on Cardiff as a city. To make ends meet Cardiff Council are having to make difficult decisions about the services they provide, including withdrawing over £700,000 currently spent annually on arts and culture. But we fear that the Council does not understand the true extent of the damage to the city if it loses the breadth of cultural experience that we're presently set to lose.
We as a sector know and understand the effect of arts and culture - we live and breathe it, we experience it daily and we see how it positively impacts on other people's lives. And there is a lot of hard evidence that demonstrates the economic and health benefits of a vibrant culture on a city and its populace. And while the Council seem to have understood and supported this view for the last decade, we are concerned that they don't fully appreciate just how much their funding actually benefits the city. They see it as an opportunity to make a small saving, while failing to understand the real value of their support and the extent of the consequent losses if the Council withdraw their funding of the arts.
Try to picture a Cardiff without arts and culture. As a sector, we need you to tell the Council how much their funding benefits the city, and how your views of Cardiff would change were it not the vibrant, lively cultural city that it is.
You can contribute your experience of Cardiff as a cultural city and what you believe is at stake to Cardiff Council's budget consultation by the end of next Monday 11 January. A digest including ways to contribute, a summary of the proposals and a clear set of messages can be found on the link below.