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 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.
Petition to UK artists and cultural workers
Artists for Corbyn: An Open Letter
Artists for Corbyn: An Open Letter Now is the time for artists to stand up.Now is the time for cultural workers to fight back. Now is the time to declare our support for Jeremy Corbyn's vision for a fairer society. Artists, cultural workers, please sign and share. The names of all signatories will be added to a huge hand painted banner:12 noon Saturday 3 June 2017 in front of the Museum of Liverpool,Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DG. Come along, bring your friends and enemies, all are welcome. Why Sign?The arts in Britain are at a crossroads with the post-Brexit loss of EU funding and the relentless Tory cuts to arts and public services. The Tories are well advanced in their systematic decimation of arts and culture in the UK. They are eliminating the arts from the education system, cutting funding support for the arts on an unprecedented scale, and overseeing our removal from an international community and related funding systems via a ‘hard’ Brexit. They’ve already trebled university tuition fees and scrapped maintenance grants. Artists are saddled with debt and confronted with the prospect of permanent low pay in a criminally underfunded arts sector. Cultural workers face ever more hostile working conditions. Ordinary people are not safe from Theresa May’s government. The young, the elderly, migrants, nurses, teachers, women and people with disabilities have all bore the brunt of relentless Tory cuts. We’re witnessing the development of a neoconservative social dystopia in which homelessness increases year on year (16% in the last 12 months) in sickening correlation with the growth of wealth of the UK’s 1,000 richest people (14% in the same period). Expect more, expect worse. This cannot go on any longer. We cannot allow this cold and calculated cruelty to continue to corrode our society. Enough is enough! Jeremy Corbyn proposes an alternative vision, a future in which we spend billions on education and healthcare instead of wars and bailing out bankers - a co-operative, democratic country of shared wealth and resources in which everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential no matter what their circumstances. A Corbyn-led Labour Government would introduce a raft of policies that would immediately and directly benefit the arts: the National Education Service, including a life changing 30 hours per week of childcare funding for many of our 1 year olds and all our 2 year olds, an ‘arts’ pupil premium’ (which translates to £160million a year for cultural projects in schools), the scrapping of university tuition fees, a commitment to tackle fair pay in the arts, including a ban on unpaid internships and a £10 minimum wage. Artists and cultural workers stand in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn.We stand for an alternative vision of co-operation, democracy and fairness.We reject the Tory’s ideological warfare of austerity. For the many, not the few! Artists for Corbyn All signatories’ names will be added to a huge banner painted by artists (and their children), 12 noon Saturday 3 June 2017 in front of the Museum of Liverpool - Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DG. Come and join us for the event. The banner will then tour across the UK until Election Day (June 8th). Election Day will see a spectacular banner drop at a secret location to be announced shortly. Signatures will be collected until the General Election and added to the final spectacular banner drop on Election Day. This open letter has been initiated by a network of artists and cultural workers based in Liverpool and Manchester.
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