STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
Hearing that Tate, Southbank Centre and the National Theatre (among others) are 'letting people go’ is heartbreaking. Especially as many of the staff have been employed and loyal to these institutions for decades. The British Museum and the Science Museum are managing to save their staff which makes us wonder how they are able to do that when other institutions of this nature are not?
Many of the front line jobs that are being let go are held by people in the arts who are either artists, musicians or writers who need the flexibility of that kind of employment while still being connected to the arts—because they care. These jobs aren’t just people 'behind the till in the shop’, they are so much more. They love the subjects and are participants. They carry the kind of experience you get over years, not days.
The arts are under threat—by the cuts to education, degradation of the arts at GCSE and A-level, the cuts to institutions, reduction of grants; and now the staff of these institutions are also being targeted. Covid has been a disaster on all fronts but these institutions will (and are starting to) open again. There are not the tourists, hordes of visitors and audiences they need but they will come back and the shops, restaurants and prop departments, among many others, will need their staff again. Many of the people being let go are of an age that finding a new job will be near impossible. Don’t just think about it: please do something.
—multimedia artist Jessica Voorsanger