Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Join the fight to stop arts budget being cut

I WOULD like to comment on the news that the Executive is planning cuts in spending for the arts.

The arts sector is an industry which makes money for Northern Ireland. It is a significant employer and it attracts millions of pounds in tourism revenue each year.

What about music in schools, learning an instrument, singing, acting, painting, creating? Children need these activities to be able to develop.

Humanity's need to communicate means that a society is judged by how its people express themselves. Let's not agree to the politicians taking that possibility away.

We need great schools, an efficient and caring health service, support for those less-fortunate.

However, let me ask if life is not just about this, but also about communicating and celebrating being together?

The arts are at the heart of creating a positive image for Northern Ireland. This will encourage inward investment and jobs.

The cost-per-year to keep the present level of Government support is less than the price of two cinema tickets per person. Investment in the arts makes good business sense.

Support the arts and sign the petition at www.facebook.com/ fairdealfortheartsni.

This is for us all - Northern Ireland is talented.

BARRY DOUGLAS

Pianist and conductor

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