I chose to study the arts at university because I was inspired by the revolutionary potential of literature to change the way people think and behave. I was very fortunate to secure scholarships along the way because my parents could not contribute financially to my studies, and managed this in no small part because of the support and guidance of my personal tutor at uni, who went on to supervise my PhD. Basically, if I can do anything to help any current or potential students in the way she helped me, I absolutely should.
I now work as Cultural Development Manager for the city of Oxford, via a tangled route of student journalism, web editing, international marketing and a life changing stint at the excellent Arts Council England. This experience has helped shape my commitment to developing the cultural sector to benefit and celebrate everyone, not only those who can afford it.
I’ll end with my favourite stat to justify public funding of the arts (and by extension, arts education too): The cultural and creative industries contribute 7% towards the UK’s GDP, which is about the same as the Financial Services. We need to do everything we can to help sustain and grow this vibrant sector and enable talented students gain access to quality arts education, irrespective of which school they went to or who their parents know.