Why the arts are important

 

A YouGov poll conducted in 2022, found that just over half of participants said that the arts and creative industries were important to the British economy. However, it is clear that the arts are underestimated by the British public in the wealth it actually creates. According to the Arts Council England "Art and culture" contribute "£10.6 billion" to the UK economy (2023), this is a huge industry and often is not taken as seriously as it should. Not only are the arts an expression of the human condition, but they are also a huge business. In tourism alone, they net "£850 million" to the UK each year. Of course, we shouldn't dilute the impact of the arts to a merely financial basis, but the figures show just how impactful art is to our lives.

The financial aspects aren't the only important factor of the arts however, humans like to tell stories, it's a way to share experiences, to entertain, to educate and express ourselves. It is important these industries give voices to people from different social backgrounds, particularly marginalised communities, as the arts can tend to be dominated by those from more privileged backgrounds. According to a 2017 report by the Arts Council titled "Making a shift", which focused on the barriers faced by people with disabilities entering the creative industries in England, survey responders cited many areas that required improvement. This includes a "lack of role models", a lack of "support" and discriminatory "recruitment practices" within the UK arts sector. If the creative industries are there to represent all, then real change is needed, particularly in the recruitment of those from disability backgrounds. Having faced barriers myself as a person with ASD, I understand the importance of improving access and of positive representation in the industry. One of the key factors in setting up my own production company is to be able to take control of my own pathway in the industry and hopefully be able to break down some of these barriers.


The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.
- Neil Gaiman (2018)