The main names from the art world expressed concerns about the influence of Brexit on art in near future. They believe that diversity and the ramifications of Brexit could be the key industry issues of 2017. People like playwright Tanika Gupta, director Michael Grandage and Birmingham Hippodrome chief executive Fiona Allan warned public about the upcoming events in the sector and shared some thoughts on how it should respond.
Gupta believes that the main challenge will be to ensure that the gatekeepers of this industry realize “who is holding the pen, whose stories we are telling and whose point of view we are promoting”. She added: “I want to see a broader spectrum of writers getting their plays on in the theater, less talk about diversity and more action through productions.” Fiona Allan agreed with Gupta’s thoughts, saying: “Now more than ever the arts need to reflect an inclusive, contemporary British society and to bring people from all walks of life together.”
The National Theater Wales artistic director, Kully Thiarai claims that the biggest challenge now is ensuring that that theater celebrates the full diversity of the UK. She said: “The whole UK arts sector must step up and take responsibility for this.” They all agreed that the way in which Brexit would impact on the sector is the key issue for 2017.
The chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, John Kampfner said that it would be a huge concern, but that his organization was working hard to keep the arts and creative industries in negotiations as best as they could. Nikolai Foster, the artistic director of the Curve, says that it is essential for theater to lead the way in this long journey, as a tolerant, compassionate and socially inclusive industry, that should cope with all these issues given by Brexit and Trump.
The Shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson believes that Brexit will have ramifications for the arts that people haven’t thought of yet, from funding to copyright law. He added: “The arts need a seat at the negotiating table.” Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells chief executive, says that, as the United Kingdom is on its way to leave the European Union, the industry needs to continue engaging with government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He thinks it’s the best way to ensure that this sector has the proper access to talent, skills and specialist workers.
Watson also warns that cuts to regional theaters are likely to be a major concern, following the research he published earlier this year. Michael Grandage explains that the industry should not follow, but lead the way, or this whole case for the subsidy will be left in a wasteland. Culture minister Matt Hancock thinks that improving access to arts and culture will be vital in this pre-stage. The federation’s chief executive, John Kampfner said: “our job now is to be intensely practical and not to indulge in laments, but to work very closely with government to deal with problems and also to identify opportunities for beneficial change.”