We would ensure that the process of cultural recovery from the depredations of Covid will take account of its effects on our individual artists and freelancers as well as on the nation’s key cultural institutions.
Individual artists and freelancers
Individual artists and freelancers are a vital component of the cultural sector – writers, artists, musicians, set designers, technicians working in theatres, at festival venues or for touring companies. Often, they are people who make a key contribution to cultural activity at the community level. But whether working alone or for companies and institutions, in many instances they have, individually, been severely affected by this year of closure.
The revival of work by the main arts organisations will in itself assist the revival of the corps of freelance workers, but we must also support freelancers in their vital contribution at the community level and within schools – combatting mental health problems and enhancing the lives and skills of our young people.
We would create a Welsh Freelancers Fund, a cultural basic income, to assist 1,000 freelance workers to work in the community, offering an income of £1,000 a month for two years.
Our national cultural institutions will be integral to the delivery of the new Culture Strategy. They would need the support of the Welsh Government and of the Arts Council of Wales over a sustained period to recover from the financial effects of the pandemic.
National Theatre Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the National Library of Wales, National Museum Wales, Literature Wales, National Dance Company Wales, Books Council of Wales, Wales Millennium Centre, Welsh National Opera, Ffilm Cymru Wales, National Eisteddfod of Wales, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Urdd Gobaith Cymru have all been impacted by the pandemic.
These are key institutions for the cultural life of the nation. We will protect their valuable contribution, their independence, and their financial viability.
We would also work with them to ensure that they represent the diversity of Wales. Our history, heritage and culture must represent and be open to everyone that lives in Wales. We would also seek to extend their role in promoting the culture of Wales to international audiences, both at home and abroad.