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Culture in a time of crisis

They’re meant to be driving regeneration, but do “creative industries” actually exist?

The arts are on the warpath. With severe cuts to both public and private investment threatened, an alliance of arts leaders, museum directors, heritage and archive organisations has come together to plead for continued generous public funding.

Their argument is not, principally, that they have produced good art or heritage—though there are audience figures and critics’ reviews to support that claim. Rather, their manifesto—entitled “Cultural Capital” and published in January—lays out an economic idea that is spelled out in its subtitle: “Investing in Culture will build Britain’s Social and Economic Recovery.” With government investment of just 1 per cent of…

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