Culture 30 June 2010 Cutting culture Are the arts an easy target for spending cuts? Print HTML Ed Jacobs has an interesting post over at Left Foot Forward asking if the arts are being lined up as an "easy hit" as government departments contemplate George Osborne's goal of reducing spending by 25 per cent across Whitehall. He offers in evidence £5m's worth of cuts recently announced by the Arts Council and the Arts Council for Wales's announcement this week that 32 arts organisations (including the Hay Festival of Literature) are to have their funding removed. As Jacobs points out, this is all of a piece with calls by the new Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for arts organisations to explore alternatives to public funding. Back in March, I blogged on a debate in which Hunt participated, and during which he argued that ensuring a "multiplicity of funding sources" was essential in straitened economic circumstances, and that the Conservatives would "boost philanthropy". Hunt says he supports, as his Labour predecessor Ben Bradshaw supported, the "mixed economy" in arts funding, but it's becoming clear that he (and his colleague, the Chancellor) think philanthropy and endowments, on the American model, should account for a much larger portion of the mix. › Tory MP bids to ban the veil Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles The New Statesman's Fundamenta-list: the zeitgeist, then and now How Jo Brand found comedy in the world's most thankless job: social work Why is Britain falling out of love with Valentine’s Day?