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City culture at risk from government cuts say venue bosses
ART in Oxford is at risk of being “severely damaged” if venues are hit by funding cuts under the Government’s spending review.
Bosses from the Playhouse Theatre, Pegasus Theatre and Modern Oxford say art is vital to the city and must be preserved to protect Oxford’s identity.
And next Friday they are running A Day and Night in Oxford, a 12-hour event showcasing the diversity of art and culture in the city.
The event takes place on the day the Government review, which is examining all public spending in Britain, will release its findings.
Polly Cole, deputy director of the Oxford Playhouse, said venues are concerned. She said: “Art in Oxford is thriving at the moment and healthier than it has been in a long time.
“We use public subsidies to work in the community and we could be forced to stop this if funding is cut.
“We generate a lot of income through the box office – it is our additional work that is at risk.
“The art scene in Oxford is very strong but this funding is vital to a thriving theatre. Art in the city could be severely damaged if we have to face heavy cuts.”
It reopened last month after a £7m revamp.
Director Euton Daly said: “Artists need to feel they can live and work in Oxford. If we lose funding we will not be able to offer them what they need, and people in the city will miss out.”
Michael Stanley, director of Modern Art Oxford in Pembroke Street, said: “I’m not that interested in how this will affect tourism, because visitors will still come to the city.
“It is the residents who will be affected most because they could lose a lot of the culture and art which is available on their doorsteps.”
A Day and Night in Oxford, which runs from noon to midnight, will showcase what is on offer on an average night in Oxford.
Mr Stanley added: “The whole point of next Friday is that we are not adding anything extra.
“We are simply highlighting the incredible diversity and close proximity of art on offer in on any given day.
“More than that, it highlights exactly what we may lose under these cuts.”
For a full listing of events, visit oxfordmail.co.uk/leisure/dayandnight