The question of government support for individual artists, including visual artists, writers and composers, was the subject of an hour-long debate in the House of Lords this week.
The debate covered a variety of themes including the contribution of art to society, individual and state funding of the art and artists and whether or not art production is becoming a preserve of the rich.
A key theme picked up on by a number of peers was the importance of education to the wider debate around the diversity of artists and the value of art in society. Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury (Liberal Democrat) said: “It is essential that the status of the arts in the classroom is properly recognised.”
“Have you noticed that whenever an important person visits a school – a prime minister or a president – the first things that they are shown are the paintings of the children? The next thing they are invited to do is to listen to the singing of the children. I rest our case.”
This week the Secretary of State for Scotland visited Edinburgh College to speak to students about votes for 16-17 year olds: