Petition to John Latham (Vice Chancellor) – email@example.com, Seymour Roworth-Stokes (Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Help save Coventry University’s undergraduate music courses from closure
Coventry University’s Vice Chancellor, John Latham, and the Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities, Seymour Roworth-Stokes, have decided to close down the BA (Hons) Music Composition, BA (Hons) Music and BA (Hons) Music Performance degree courses. The decision to close the three courses has taken place within months of the University approving the new BA (Hons) Music degree alongside a re-design of the respective Composition and Performance courses. Coventry University’s three undergraduate music degrees offer students the chance to specialise in composition, performance or general music. These music courses are non-doctrinal which means that students from all musical backgrounds, styles and genres are welcome; classical musicians are encouraged to rub shoulder-to-shoulder with rock musicians, jazz musicians and singer-songwriters, etc. The music facilities, comprising practice rooms, recording studios and teaching spaces, form part of a larger Performing Arts department alongside Dance, Theatre and Music Technology. The music students are therefore part of a larger community of practice within the University and they have the opportunity to collaborate with practitioners from other performing arts disciplines as well as developing skills within their main musical discipline. The music students are also actively encouraged to perform with local music ensembles, choirs and bands and many students and alumni are regularly participating in and around Coventry’s music scene, some internationally. The decision to close the music courses will have a negative impact upon the learning experience for the current one hundred and twelve Coventry University undergraduate music students, as the courses are phased out by August 2018. By this time, the final year students will be left feeling undervalued by the University, taught by a skeleton staff of two full-time academics and supported by only one full-time technician. These fixed-term staff members will also have to continue supervision for five postgraduate PhD music research students, several of whom are not due to complete their doctoral studies until after the fixed-term staff have been made redundant in 2018. The Vice Chancellor and the Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities have not satisfactorily addressed the importance of supporting the existing music student body at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Their proposal to run three undergraduate music courses and to continue to supervise PhD researchers under a fixed-term skeleton staffing model is unacceptable and it will not support the students effectively through their respective degree programmes, contrary to page 21 of Coventry University’s Corporate Plan 2021, that states, ‘We will provide all staff and students, whatever their background, with opportunities and support, in order to help them realise their full potential’. The three BA courses were removed from The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) only days after the music staff were informed and before a proper consultation period had taken place. This is unacceptable behaviour from the senior management of the ‘University of the Year 2015’ and it further contradicts page 21 of the Corporate Plan 2021 that states, ‘[w]e will ensure fairness to both staff and students in all our activities and be committed to supporting and furthering equality in employment, advancement, teaching and attainment’. The Vice Chancellor and the Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities have not recognised, or celebrated, the existing successes of the INTIME (Interrogations into Music Experimentation) research group, such as the highly successful annual INTIME International Music Symposium held every October. Over the last few years, the INTIME Symposiums have brought world-leading researchers and academics across all areas of music to Coventry University. In October, Ray Lee’s sound art installation ‘Chorus’ came to Coventry University for the INTIME 2015 Symposium and it was featured on television and drew crowds of people to the University Square, from students and staff through to intrigued members of the public. The closure of the music courses will also impact on future generations of musicians who may otherwise wish to have been given the chance to study music at Coventry University. One argument being used against the continuation of the courses is that the number of students currently sitting A-Level Music has declined from previous years. However, there has been no acknowledgement that many of the current music students have entered their music course at Coventry University with BTEC National Diplomas, A-Level Music Technology, equivalent qualifications or experience, in place of A-Level Music. Each year, the department hosts a series of free lunchtime concerts that are open to the general public. These well-attended concerts attract a core group of Coventry locals alongside the student body. With the closure of the music courses, these wonderful concerts will also disappear. On a wider scale, this decision is also detrimental to the people of the City of Coventry and it will impact negatively against the bid for City of Culture 2021. More information about Coventry’s bid for the City of Culture 2021 can be found by following this link < http://www.coventry2021.co.uk/cityofculture/site/index.php > Removing these three music courses will impact negatively, on a local level, especially upon the next generation of music-makers, composers, performers and music teachers based in and around the city. Both alumni and current students from Coventry University’s music degree programmes, in line with Coventry University’s Corporate Plan 2021, already take an active role in providing music entertainment and culture for the people of Coventry City. This was proved in July 2015 at the Godiva Festival, featuring solo acts and bands comprised of current students and alumni. An example includes the band “Rooted ‘n’ Booted”, who were privileged to open up the Festival on the Main Stage on Friday 3rd July: < http://www.godivafestival.com/lineup > More recently, a graduate of the BA (Hons) Music Composition course has achieved success producing a Coventry Christmas music video that has gone viral < http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/coventry-musicians-christmas-song-goes-10610429 > Coventry University music students continue to share their music in the city. On 9th December 2015, current Coventry University music students entertained a packed audience in Warwick Road’s United Reform Church, Coventry, showcasing a diverse range of music styles, from classical choral music, to chamber ensembles, to dance band music to rock music. A smaller taster of this showcase is available from the following link < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UOPe6hTP7U > Page 20 of Coventry University’s Corporate Plan 2021 states that ‘Social responsibility will be embedded in all of our successes. The University will use its knowledge and expertise to contribute to the social and economic success of the local, national and international community’. The decision to close down the music courses will not only be counterproductive to the University’s 2021 commitment to contribute to the social success of the local community, but it will also be counterproductive to the bid for City of Culture 2021. Please, if you can, share the petition on social media platforms and encourage your friends and colleagues to sign to help keep the music courses alive at Coventry University, for both the music-makers of tomorrow and the people of the City of Coventry. If you are inclined you can also make a complaint regarding the closure of the music courses to Coventry University directly by following this link < http://www.coventry.ac.uk/life-on-campus/the-university/key-information/registry/complaints-and-compliments/?theme=main
Petition to Anne Carlisle, Alan Murray
SAVE Falmouth Foundation - Protect the Future of the Arts
Falmouth University’s Foundation Diploma in Art and Design has been suspended as of next September. Education in the Arts is becoming increasingly downtrodden, it is the closure of essential courses like Foundations that are worth an urgent fight. A Foundation course can be essential to creative students before heading into undergraduate education, it allows a year to grow and explore practices that may be restricted during an A-Level, and Falmouth has been a leading and competitive course for almost 60 years. The importance of Falmouth is prevalent also in location - for many talented Cornish students going upcountry isn’t a viable option financially, neither is jumping straight into a degree. Falmouth offers a top level and competitive course that frankly the South West otherwise lacks. As well as being a leading course in Foundation Studies, the staff and tutors are incredible, a font of knowledge - many practicing artists or designers themselves. They deserve more than to be suspended, their hard work is reflected in the results and alumni of the course, aspirations leading achievement such as graduates from The Slade School of Fine Art, award winning directors, this years Turner Prize Winner and Turner Prize Nominee on separate occasions, and successful independent designers and artists in their own right. Please appeal to save Falmouth’s prestigious Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, if you are a previous student you will understand the quality of the course, and if you are a creative or in support of the arts it’s key courses like Falmouth that we need to fight for. It is worth more than the University may know. Let us make it clear to Anne Carlisle that the suspension of the Foundation is a huge nail in the coffin for Falmouth University. "The course gave me the environment to experiment and learn alongside likeminded individuals, allowing the breadth and depth of my practice to grow beyond my expectations. The tutors gave me the confidence to continue my studies to bachelor’s level and furthermore inspired me to return to Falmouth to establish my own career as local fine artist" - Georgia Gendall, local practicing fine artist. "The Art School has a tremendous legacy in our community and world wide. It is a stellar asset to Falmouth and Penryn but not on the current trajectory." - local supporter of the arts. As a local and recent alumni of the course myself I cannot stress enough how fundamental it was to my learning and practice. It might not bring in money, but as an investment it certainly brings fresh passion and extremely talented students to Falmouth's legacy, the University and beyond. Thank you for reading. Please sign and share.
Petition to Newcastle-u-Tyne City Council
Save Gibson Street Baths for People not Developers
On June 7th 2016 Gibson Street Baths is due to go up for auction. It was built for people and has always been a place for all to meet and relax. Its an amazing heritage building with many stories and we want to keep it open to the public. We are asking the council to hold the auction for 6 months to allow for in depth research into use of the building as a self sustaining community hub powered by associated social enterprise commerce. Current research and experience within the campaign group strongly suggest that this is a viable plan that will add vitality to the local area and wider city.
Petition to Sir Albert Bore, James McKay, Jacqui Kennedy
Support Street Culture in Birmingham, Don't Strangle It
Stop the Criminalisation of Street Culture in Birmingham Labour-led Birmingham City Council have introduced plans to make it a criminal offence punishable by fines of up to £1000 and a criminal record to play musical instruments or sing songs on the streets if any amplification is used. The proposed ‘Public Space Protection Order’ (PSPO) would also apply to political protestors such as the Friends of the Library of Birmingham Campaign who use microphones to make speeches during rallies and protests, and religious groups. When Birmingham Bobby PC Ian Northcott borrowed a busker’s guitar and gave an impromptu version of ‘Wonderwall’ on the city’s streets, a YouTube video of the incident went viral and became a feel-good international news story about the breaking down of barriers between the police and the public and the power of street music to create a sense of urban community. PC Ian Northcott went on to use his raised public profile to raise money and awareness for Socks and Chocs, a charity that provides food and clothing to vulnerably housed and homeless people. Under Birmingham’s proposals the ‘Busking Bobby’ would have been committing a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1000 and a criminal record. Far from building good relationships between the police and the community, under these new powers police would be potentially be required to arrest any buskers breaching the PSPO doing damage to to the reputation of the police in the community. At time when police and local authority budgets are under pressure, the PSPO would waste the police’s time by requiring them to arrest people for playing music and singing songs rather than doing vitally important police work and keeping people safe. As well as being an attack on cultural, political and religious freedoms these draconian new powers are totally unnecessary. Birmingham City Council have a wide range of existing powers that could and should be used against the small minority of street performers and street preachers that cause a persistent nuisance. The Keep Streets Live Campaign successfully opposed policies that criminalised street culture in Liverpool, York and Canterbury and went on to work with the councils in those cities to introduce policies that support a vibrant street culture. We call upon Birmingham to abandon its plans to introduce a PSPO and to work with the local busking community, business groups, Musician's Union, Keep Streets Live Campaign and other affected parties to agree a best practise guide that promotes harmonious relationships in the city, encourages and actively supports the artists and musicians who animate the city's streets helping to make Birmingham the vibrant city of culture that it is.
Petition to Cllr Tim Warren, Ben Howlett MP, Cllr Charles Gerrish, Cllr Martin Veal, Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, Cllr Michael Evans, Cllr Paul Myers, Cllr Alan Hale, Cllr Cherry Beath
Scrap Bath and North East Somerset 100% Arts Cuts
On Valentine's Day BANES Council are voting on plans to cut 100% of their Arts budget. They currently fund projects like: The Bath International Music Festival Children's Literature Festival Literature Festival Community and children's professional theatre eg Kilter Theatre, The Natural Theatre Company, B-creative (who ran projects in Radstock, Foxhill, Twerton and Snow Hill) Bath Film Festival's Rural Cinema Project A full list of all the organisations they fund can be found on their website: BANES List Of Funded Organisations. By signing this petition, you call on BANES to scrap all arts cuts because they understand that Bath is what it is today because of its arts, sense of fun, creativity and joy. These things need money. Click now and share. Valentine's Day is also when BANES vote on their whole budget: library cuts included. A petition about this is here: https://www.change.org/p/bath-and-north-east-somerset-council-save-bath-central-library ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you want to know more about the value of the arts..... What would the world be like without the arts? We are the lucky ones. Do you know that 1 in 5 of your neighbours do not have access to the arts? How many more will suffer if what little funding is there to support them is cut entirely? *** The arts rely on decent levels of Government investment to thrive. Commercial Sales, private philanthropy and tax breaks play their part but the bed rock of a successful mixed arts economy, is decent Government investment. Every time that investment is scaled back the arts shudder and stall! Output is lost and the effects on the creative economy can be dramatic. Every £1 invested in the arts generates £2 to £7 pounds in return, depending on the exact art form supported. Based on these figures there is no economic case to cut a single pound from the levels of Government investment! The arts aren’t just some ethereal, feel good factor for good times as facts demonstrate: 1. The arts = popular: More people in Britain are engaged in the arts than in Premier League football – between April 2014 and March 2015, 77 per cent of adults had attended or participated in the arts at least once in the previous year (Source – DCMS Taking Part Survey) (‘Life beats you down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.’ – Stella Adler.) 2. The arts = jobs: Employment in music, visual and performing arts stands at nearly a quarter of a million people and has grown by 14% between 2011 and 2013 (Source: ONS) (‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere’ – Albert Einstein.) 3. The arts = well being The Arts on Prescription initiative research study found that engagement with the arts resulted in positive outcomes for 78% of participants, through an increase in mental wellbeing and/or a decrease in social isolation, anxiety or depression: http://artsandminds.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/a-on-p_executive-summary_sp-1.pdf (‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ – Pablo Picasso.) 4. The arts = soft power Cultural engagement leads to a higher level of trust in the UK, and this is associated with a greater attraction to visit or do business in the UK. (Source – British Council 2012). The UK is recognised as one of the world’s most adept soft-power states. In a recent global ranking of soft power by the Institute for Government, the UK came top. (Source: The Soft Power 30 global index). (‘The Arts......essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament of human life.’ – George Washington.) 5. The arts = ideas Subsidised theatre fuels risk taking and talent development. The benefits of these in some cases stay within the subsidised sphere, and in others branch out to the commercial theatre sector and wider creative industries (Source CC Skills Publicly-funded arts as an R&D lab for the creative industries?) (‘Creativity Takes Courage’ – Henri Matisse) 6. The arts = growth The creative industries are important to our economy – worth £77bn or 5% of the UK’s GDP according to the latest figures from DCMS. (‘...the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery and achievement.’ – Paul G Allen, Co-Founder , Microsoft.) 7. The arts = regeneration Arts and cultural education can lead to higher earning and better job prospects, improved wellbeing and regeneration of places (source - Centre for Economics Business Research (CEBR) 2013) (‘Even in difficult times – especially in difficult economic times – the arts are essential – Maria Shriver.) 8. The arts = tourism In 2011, 10 million inbound visits to the UK involved engagement with the arts and culture, representing 32 per cent of all visits to the UK and 42 per cent of all inbound tourism-related expenditure (CEBR 2013). Visit Britain estimate that Britain’s cultural and heritage attractions generate £4.5 billion worth of spending by inbound visitors annually which is the equivalent to more than one quarter of all spending by international visitors. (It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.’ - Terry Pratchett) 9. The arts = education Students from low income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree than children from low income families that do not engage in arts activities at school. Engagement in structured arts and culture improves the cognitive abilities of children and young people (Source: CASE 2010) (‘The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.’ – Oscar Wilde.) 10. The arts = community Participation in the arts can contribute to community cohesion, reduce social exclusion and isolation, and/or make communities feel safer and stronger (CASE 2015) (‘The only thing better than singing, is more singing.’ – Ella Fitzgerald.) Thanks to Equity for the 10 facts on the arts.
Petition to Paul Layzell
Rebuild a darkroom for Royal Holloway, University of London.
As a committee member of the RHUL Photography Society and an analogue enthusiast, getting a darkroom rebuilt on campus would be an incredible opportunity. With the resurgence of film and companies, such as Kodak, starting to reintroduce old film stocks, analogue photography is something which is not going to go away. The old darkroom on campus has been demolished, but it was one of the things which attracted me to Royal Holloway. As a result of its demolition, many people - myself included - have been unable to do analogue photography easily. To have it rebuilt would allow us to teach and practice the art of film photography. From developing to printing, it is a complex process but allows people to understand where many aspects of photography originated and allows for a new and deep understanding of the craft. Furthermore, it also allows for people to develop their photography skills further and create forms of art which are simply inaccessible to them otherwise. With all the new construction on campus, if space for a permanent or semi-permanent darkroom could be found, it would be an incredible facility for university and I am certain it would be used by many students, now and in the future. - Matthew PhillipsVP, Events Leader and Darkroom Officer of the Photography Society
Petition to The Walt Disney Company
Disney, please sell the rights to 'Monkey Island' back to its creator Ron Gilbert
Do the right thing Disney, give the intellectual property rights for Monkey Island back to its progenitor, who intends to make great content with it. Please, if you're not going to do anything with it, let the original artist have back this proverbial paintbrush, he's the only one worthy of wielding it. You'd be enabling the creation of art, the possibility the world would get to enjoy another adventure in a beloved land conceived back in 1988, akin to the cult classics of 'The Secret of Monkey Island' & 'Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge'. Please Disney, we want to be a pirate. Please sign if you share these sentiments.