Another chapter

I have been quiet again.  This is not always such a bad thing.  This time my creative absence was caused by an opportunity to teach in the classroom for the last 16 months.  Teaching drama in a deprived primary school has been one of the most enlightening, life-affirming experiences I can remember.  It is very sadly about to come to an end.  I know that politics can put people off, but quite frankly I do not care anymore.  I appear to have lost at least one social media “friend” as a result of it, but, that is their problem and not mine.  The Arts is incredibly important, but I am witnessing and hearing more and more that it is disappearing from Schools.  My School will no longer have Music and Drama Provision next year.  Whilst I am personally upset by this, I am far more upset on behalf of the kids who will not be able to travel that particular path anymore.  They can’t simply sign up to their local Theatre Group or pay for music lessons.  Their families can barely afford to feed them.  I see teacher’s feeding their pupils, I see teachers providing their own stationery for the kids to use.  We are the 6th richest country in the world, and yet we are sending kids to school without feeding them, to learn in schools that cannot afford paper.  This is an extreme example, but what will our society be like if we continue with this?  I am trying to find a way to continue this provision, but I am only one tiny voice.  I can list all the endless and proven benefits of the arts.  These are too obvious for most people I know.  I will be told by those who are apparently sensible and compassionate, that austerity was, and remains a necessity.  I will be told that we need to live within our means.  All of this will be told to me by people who really just don’t get it.  I can argue that the arts economy in this country is worth £8.5billion, (5% of our GDP), but that is almost to miss the point.  Even if it didn’t contribute such huge financial benefit, I would be just as angry.  Without creativity, we are nothing.  We are just animals.  Our creativity is what separates us, inspires us, informs us and educates us.  Science is one of the most creative subjects around, but without the acceptance that to think creatively is vital, we will lose so much.  I will never accept that we need to cut back on Arts provision because financial markets failed.  I especially won’t accept it when it is dressed up in a political lie.  Brexit will damage the arts as well.  We all know it, but no-one wants to say that it is important.  Well, I do.  I have seen drama unlock beauty, creativity anger and so many other things.  Children unable to communicate in other ways, using the subject to exorcise their demons, and cry for help.  It’s fine though.  Lots of good art comes from Poverty.  I actually heard that argument recently.  It is as pathetic an argument as I have ever heard.  Of course people in poverty rise above situations and thrive.  This is never a reason to plunge them further into poverty.  Many of my friends seem to be under the impression that it will all be ok.  They send their kids to nice schools that have the facilities.  They are being taken away though, be warned.  Another school that I have worked in is losing it’s drama provision and facilities.  Another one will be stopping music completely.  This is not austerity, it is ideological, and criminal in its shortsightedness.  We really have to fight this with every single ounce of energy.

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