World-famous classical pianist and conductor Barry Douglas has joined the star line-up calling on Stormont to save our arts.
He is the latest celebrity to back the Arts Council Northern Ireland’s No More Cuts To The Arts campaign.
The Camerata Ireland director highlighted the contribution the arts make to life in Northern Ireland: “The value of arts in society is enormous and it means a lot of jobs, it means social cohesion, it means education,” he said.
“We can’t turn our back on the arts, we have to keep funding them at a consistent level. All it costs is 13 pence per person per week to fund the arts here in Northern Ireland. Let’s do it.”
The Belfast-born musician joins a string of international celebrities including James Nesbitt, Stephen Rea and ‘Rocky’ actress Geraldine Hughes, who have made personal pleas to Stormont to maintain the current level of arts provision. Other high-profile people to have come out in support of the campaign this week include writers Carlos Gebler, Owen McCafferty and Martin Lynch, and singer-songwriter Gareth Dunlop.
Proposed cuts to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure budget for the next financial year would translate as an 11.2% reduction in direct public funding for the arts, according to the Arts Council Northern Ireland.
The Executive currently invests 13p per person, per week in direct funding for the arts.