Vital Part

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“It is kind of the life blood of what it is to be human, to express ourselves”.


If art and culture are what people create by expressing themselves, then the Arts Council needs to wake up.

For decades, vast sections of the population have been excluded from the Arts Council’s billions of pounds. People were treated as mere spectators, not creators or potential creators. The problem is highlighted by the Arts Council’s self-declared mission “Great art to everyone”. This reduces people to consumers of art, mere spectators. People are not so stupid as to believe that spectators are creators of art.

The Arts Council’s approach has enforced a divide in society. On one side there was a small group, well connected, enjoying all the advantages accompanying billions of pounds.

On the other side was the low-income majority, denied even basic education in the arts. They still had to pay for the small privileged group, through taxes and lottery tickets.

By contrast, the Council’s Royal Charter treats every individual, child or adult, as a person with artistic and creative potential. The Royal Charter requires ACE:

“To develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts;
To increase the accessibility of the arts to the public in England”.

It is time to hold the Arts Council to its Royal Charter. That will help spread opportunity. It will be good for all the people of England, and good for our arts and culture. Nobody knows where the next Shakespeare lurks.

As I write in this week’s TIME cover story, aquaculture — fish farming — is an increasingly essential part of our global food system. Already about half of our seafood starts on an aquatic farm, and as seafood demand continues to rise and the wild ocean catch plateaus, you can be certain that the emphasis on aquaculture will continue to grow.

For much of the world, that’s a good thing. Seafood tends to be healthier than land-raised meat, and fish farming on the whole is a more efficient way to produce protein than raising traditional farm animals. (Efficiency in this case means turning inputs — fish feed — into outputs, fillets on your table.) If aquaculture can deliver inexpensive protein to the masses, it could go a long way toward meeting the increasing demand for food globally, expected to double by midcentury. “We need to shift from collecting and harvesting fish in the wild to a culture bred around seafood production,” says Yonathan Zohar, the director of the Center of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland. “[Fish farming] needs to be sustainable and it needs to be economically feasible.”


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