DCMS Secretary of State for Culture, Maria Miller, made a major speech on the value of culture at the British Library on 22nd January 2014.
AIM feels Maria Miller’s speech seemed to be aimed at those outside the cultural sector, summarising and illustrating why the arts and heritage matter. AIM was pleased to see the stronger emphasis given to museums and heritage compared to her speech last year. The speech covered the many ways in which the sector, and independent museums in particular, add value to our communities and society: tourism, the economy, the education of a next generation of creative individuals and the intrinsic value of things that “make our hearts sing”. The pleasure found in helping individuals make those ‘heart-singing’ connections with the past is probably the motivating factor for our sector’s huge volunteer workforce, who deliver so much of the cultural value which she was discussing. The speech serves as a useful reminder and summary of the breadth of arguments we all need to be making in the run up to the next election, in support of the wider campaigning for sustaining heritage and the arts in the future.
The full text of the speech can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/culture-secretary-maria-miller-keynote-arts-and-culture-speech