Photo © Michael Smith

Our history

The National Campaign for the Arts was founded in 1985 as the UK’s only independent lobbying organisation representing all the arts.

We were formed through a merger of the National Lobby for the Arts (NLA) and British Arts Voice (BRAVO) and with six original members: Association of British Orchestras, Society of London Theatre, Theatrical Management Association (now UK Theatre), Equity, BECTU and Musicians’ Union.

Chaired by Sir Melvin Bragg and subsequently Dame Joan Bakewell, the organisation lobbied government and hosted events to discuss the landscape of UK arts provision.

Since 2012, under the chair of Samuel West, we have re-focussed our activities on engagement campaigns to raise awareness of the role of public funding for the arts throughout the UK.

Although we still have strong connections with our founding members, we now operate as an independent charity (without fees coming from members) run by an unpaid board of directors.

We rely on people like you making a regular donation or making a generous purchase from our shop.