The Art Party Manifesto

Image courtesy of Bob and Roberta Smith

Before any of the major parties has been able to share their manifesto for the forthcoming General Election on 8th June 2017, Bob and Roberta Smith (who stood against Michael Gove in the last election) has shared his versions of an Art Party Manifesto with an invitation to make and share your own.

Bob and Roberta Smith are inviting you to write your manifesto so that when the politicians come knocking you can ask for their support rather than you offering them support.

Make your own posters to put in your window.

I’m working on mine  – they’re at the end

This is Bob and Roberta Smith’s manifesto for the arts.

1. All schools should be art schools,
Develop a ‘Leonardo’ subject in primary schools teaching a marriage of arts and sciences. Coding and drawing, choreography and cartography.

2. Deepen our ties with Europe.
Ditch the Brexit and call for a second referendum. Art is fundamentally international and artists and creative practitioners should be encouraged to travel.

3. Support the European Court of Human Rights. Art is a human characteristic and a important human right. Our support for the HRA deepens artists voices when we speak out about free speech violations world wide.

4. Create a new model to protect and sustainably fund regional museums  and Galleries that removes from local authorities the incentive and power to close assets and de-commision collections.

5. Scrap student fees.
We need universities filled with the strongest and most appropriate students not simply those who are  from wealthy middle-class backgrounds.

6. Promote foundation arts courses and halt their closure.

7. Cancel the Ebacc which distorts school students choices.
Children must be encouraged to study  music, art, drama, english literature and design along side languages, maths and other subjects.

8. Create and fund a public online registry  of all art works displayed both publicly and in museums and Galleries and ‘green belt’ this public asset.

9. 15% tax on auction house sales to help fund a range of arts initiatives.
Triple the foreign aid budget to include art and free expression schools.

10. Develop a centre for art, theatre, poetry and dance pedagogy to develop the subject for art teachers and also to update teaching approaches to support digital initiatives and initiatives that forefront children’s voices so that they can creatively participate in democracy.

11. Allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote.

And these four are mine:

12. Equalise the Cultural Space: Require all publicly funded arts and cultural bodies to demonstrate and act on their commitment and responsibility to equality in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith (or none), ability/disability, age, class … Revisit collections/repertoires and help people see themselves in art and history so they’ll also invest in the future.

13. There is no Planet B – Promote and reward the development of environmentally sustainable arts and cultural practices – we have all the technology we need to solve the planet’s problems, we just need to be promoting them.

14. End the false binaries between arts and sciences, arts and sports – celebrate where these disciplines meet and encourage children and adults to explore them all in all parts of their lives.

15. Sugar Tax Please – if there is to be a sugar tax to support sport in schools, use 50% of it to promote arts participation in schools. Many children especially young women are not drawn to muddy fields and the throwing and catching of balls, a more creative way of looking at encouraging people to be active is required.


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