life well lived
tale well told
sense of joy
We campaign for more public investment in the arts because we believe that the arts are for everyone and make everyone’s lives better.
It seems obvious to us that a small percentage of our taxes should be invested in enriching our lives through art. So we make a noise and provoke discussions with people in power who make those decisions.
Who we are
The National Campaign for the Arts is a charity, run by a board of volunteer trustees. Around us we have gathered celebrity champions, like-minded individuals who give up their time and lend their high-profile presence so people sit up and listen. Find out more about our history and who pays for what
Baroness Joan Bakewell
Gary Lineker OBE
The Arts Index is a snapshot report of the health of England’s arts and culture provision. The 2007–2016 Index pulls together data from a multitude of sources and compares year on year figures for 20 key indicators (from public participation to West End revenues).Read the report
A snapshot report of the health of England’s arts and culture provision. The Index pulls together data from a multitude of sources and compares year on year figures for 20 key indicators from public participation to West End revenues.Read the report
WHAT IS ARTS FUNDING?
In the UK we have decided that we want to support the arts through public funding. Almost all artists, performers and audiences have benefitted from this system, directly or indirectly.
This is a better place to live and work than it would have been without public funding of the arts. Our lives are richer and more interesting, healthier and happier.
Photo: Mousetrap Theatre Projects © Alex RumfordSkip What is Arts Funding?
It’s likely that if you’ve been to a free festival or a big outdoor event, much of the cost will have been funded from your taxes. If it wasn’t funded, it probably wouldn’t happen.
It’s likely that when a performance company comes to do a workshop at your local school, their time and the resources they draw upon will have been made possible through a funding scheme.
Photo: English National Ballet presents students from the Elliot Foundation, made up of eight schools across London, performing Akram Khan’s Big Dance pledge © David JensenSkip What is Arts Funding?
The next time you see a British film it's likely it will only have been possible to make it through some form of public subsidy or support.
When you buy a ticket for a local theatre it’s likely that it will cost a lot less than it might do because that venue, the company of performers, and the people responsible for putting on the show will all have been partly funded.
Photo: Travelling Light Youth Theatre © Paul BlakemoreSkip What is Arts Funding?
Public investment has shown huge dividends in the UK. We are recognised as world leaders in the arts and creativity, and that is (at least in part) due to the way we have nurtured, invested and championed talent through public investment in these areas.
Photo: Dusk by Fevered Sleep © Matthew AndrewsSkip What is Arts Funding?
But public funding is complex and subject to the vagaries of political influence. We need to keep reminding the decision makers how much we value their investment of our taxes in this vital area.
We’d love you to join us in our campaigning for the arts.
Photo: © Andy Paradise
How does arts funding work?
In some ways it’s very simple. We pay our taxes and buy Lottery tickets and we elect politicians to decide how to spend or invest that money. They currently invest a small percentage (roughly 0.02%) of that money in the arts: the artists, the performers, the venues and the infrastructure that make it all possible.
But the way that money is collected and distributed is hugely complex. We’ve published an overview that unpicks some of that complexity. Read more
Buy stuff for the arts
Support our work by buying unique products from our shop. As well as t-shirts, mugs, posters and more with our logo on them, each year one of the UK’s leading artists donates a piece of work and lets us shamelessly exploit it by printing it on things and selling them to raise funds.
Every penny of profit is spent on our charitable work for the arts. This year’s featured artist is
The more you buy, the more you help us campaign for the arts.