The New Deal of the Mind coalition is calling on the Government to invest in creativity and support the generation of art and design students who are graduating in the recession.
The coalition, chaired by Martin Bright, former political editor of the New Statesman magazine, and featuring academics, policy makers and cultural leaders, met Government ministers at 11 Downing Street yesterday to outline their aspirations.
Attendees at the meeting included Nigel Carrington, Rector of the University of the Arts London, Sir John Tusa, chair of the governors of the University of the Arts London, and Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector of the Royal College of Art.
Representatives from the Government included Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, and Skills Minister David Lammy.
Those from the arts and cultural sector included Design Council chairman Michael Bichard, Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, and designer Michael Wolff.
The New Deal of the Mind initiative is inspired by US President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s, which saw state-sponsored employment opportunities created amid the Great Depression.
The New Deal of the Mind coalition is calling for more financial support of micro-entrepreneurship in the creative sector; an extension of traning programmes delivered by art and design universities for small businesses; and the creation of a programme of funded internships for creative sector graduates.
The University of the Arts London’s Nigel Carrington says, ‘The UK has a major advantage over most, if not all, countries going through the current financial crisis, and that is the strength of our creative sector and the universities that nurture it.’
Further meetings within the Government are planned.