Last year the Arts Council turned down Museums Sheffield’s application to become a National Portfolio Organisation, despite complimenting our ‘clear, strong, application’. Yesterday, we learned that our application for £1.4m of Renaissance Major Grant funding, cash which has transformed the service we provide for the city since 2004, had also been turned down by the Arts Council.
This comes at a time when local authority cuts, passed down from central government, are impacting badly on arts organisations. Our own local authority funding has been cut by 12% in the current year. The combined effect of these cuts means that Museums Sheffield’s budget for 2012/13 will decline by at least 30%. Large scale staff redundancies, major reductions in exhibition programmes and scaled down learning provision for schools/adults are all now inevitable.
We believe England’s fourth largest city, home to over half a million people and awash with creative talent and potential, deserves better. Visual art in Sheffield in particular is now grossly underfunded in comparison to the city’s potential.
If you agree, there are a number of ways you can help us make the case for culture in Sheffield.
1) Contact your local councillor and MP and ask them to protest to the Arts Council on your behalf that culture in Sheffield is being eroded.
You can find contact details for your local councillor in Sheffield here
You can find contact details of your local MP in Sheffield here
Many councillors and MP’s are also now on Twitter