Fair Deal for the Arts Videos

Videos produced by Culture Northern Ireland and the Nerve Centre highlight the importance of the arts in society

Three videos made to support the Fair Deal for the Arts NI budget campaign have been premiered on You Tube, protesting against the scale of proposed cuts to the arts budget.

The one minute shorts - which look at how the arts impact on society, the economy and the lives of Northern Ireland's young people - show how much Northern Ireland benefits from public investment in the arts, including life-changing arts programmes in schools, hospitals and old people’s homes, and asks politicians not to 'throw it all away'. Watch the videos below.

Pearse Moore, Nerve Centre chief executive, commented: 'These videos are sending out a positive message about how much the arts affects all our lives, even if we don’t always realise it. As well as the economic and social benefits, quite simply the arts make Northern Ireland a place you’d want to live in.'

The Arts are facing a proposed £4.2million budget cut over the next four year budget period. With inflation, this represents a reduction of 23%, which will inevitably impact directly on jobs and frontline services.

David Lewis, director of Culture Northern Ireland, said: 'The films were a collaborative effort, with music from up-and-coming band the Farriers and Kabosh Theatre Company providing the voice-over. The fact that everybody gave their time and talents freely gives an indication of the strength of feeling out there about the proposed cuts to the arts budget.'

Arts Council of Northern Ireland chief executive Roisin McDonough commended the videos, saying, 'It’s difficult to imagine Northern Ireland without arts and culture at its very heart but the proposed cut to the arts budget will undoubtedly cause irreparable damage to the sector. These films highlights how the arts impact across all areas of our lives – including our communities, schools and hospitals.

'The arts sector is being asked to take a disproportionate share of the public sector cuts. There is still time to influence the Executive, so we are asking everyone to pledge their support for the campaign by logging onto Facebook and sending the Fair Deal for the Arts campaign letter.'

The public consultation on the Northern Ireland Draft Budget 2011-2015 closes on Wednesday, February 16. To find out more about the Fair Deal for the Arts Facebook Campaign visit www.facebook.com/fairdealfortheartsni.

Watch the Fair Deal for the Arts videos at www.youtube.com/cultureni.