1 Dec 2011
Why We Must Invest More In The Arts
Because every day and night, there is music.
Because everyone has heard of Beethoven, Van Gogh, the Beatles.
Because small children practising dance routines, need a stage.
Because we are not machines,
and because kids who spit rhymes like a laureate's kiss deserve opportunities not to be missed
and because every day is a blank canvas, a masterpiece,
and life paints our stories in countless phenomenal colours.
Because of circuses, spectacles, blockbusters, rock festivals,
and because prisoners can learn to write memories for the people they could have been,
and because we are a nation of carnival queens
and salsa and samba and tango entangle us into expressing our reasons for being.
Because of seamstresses sequins, and scenery painters' brushes,
the Foley artist's portfolio of auditory scenarios,
and Romeo and Juliet, and for genius plays not written yet,
and white-faced mimes and pantomime again and again and again.
For the steady chip, chip of the chisel shaping an icon from Dorset stone.
For prima donna ballerinas, for instruments bowed and beaten or blown
and the opening night of every packed-out show,
for the old soldier making us weep with his poems,
because culture is capital and nobody knows where the economy is going.
For the canvases hanging on Museum walls, for museums without any walls at all,
for the pictures that speak a thousand multicultural tongues
for the lyrical languages spoken and sung
and because 'everybody loves a parade'
because how many dreams can come true on a stage?
And for every Grand Finale.