Woke artists call for boycott of bank sponsormain
A coalition of artists from all genres have published a letter in the Times today, demanding a boycott of sponsorship from Barclays Bank because its fossil fuel ‘investments pose a threat to the future of young people and arts organisations’.
We publish the letter and the names below. Let us know if you hear that any arts company refuses free money from a bank. We’ll find plenty of deserving others who would be happy to take their place.
Sir, We are writing to express our concern that Barclays’ sponsorship of youth tickets at Sadler’s Wells is undermining the future of the theatre, its audiences and performers. The Barclays dance pass offers up to 10,000 tickets a year at £10 for young people aged 16 to 30. Barclays is Europe’s largest financier of fossil fuel extraction, investing $145 billion in this activity since the 2015 Paris agreement. Addressing the United Nations this year, António Guterres, its secretary-general, stated that financing fossil fuels must stop so as to avert further extreme weather events, food shortages and mass migration.
Barclays’ investments pose a threat to the future of young people and arts organisations. This risk far outweighs any potential benefit from the provision of the dance pass. Sadler’s Wells provides huge cultural benefit but relies on sponsorship, especially now. Hence we do not ask that Barclays’ sponsorship be dropped but that the contract should be replaced by sustainable arts sponsorship.
Sadler’s Wells declared a climate emergency last year. We urge the theatre’s trustees to seek sponsorship in line with this declaration.
Sir Mark Rylance, actor; Dame Siobhan Davies, choreographer, performer; Rupert Graves, actor, Islington parent; Julie Ward, former MEP and Vice-Chair of European Parliament Culture & Education Committee, Board Member of Culture Action Europe and dance lover; Wendy Houstoun, dance artist; Matteo Fargion, dance artist; Hugo Glendinning, photographer, filmmaker; Deborah Hay, artist, dancer, choreographer, writer; Jessica Townsend, author; Zoë Solomons, dancer and Islington Parent; Rose Fenton, co-founder of LIFT, producer, author; Anthony Simpson-Pike, theatre-maker and dramaturg; Eleanor Sikorski, dancer, choreographer, Sadlers Wells commissioned artist; Dan de la Motte, Creative Practitioner and Equity Councillor; Flora Wellesley Wesley, dance artist, co-director of Nora; Robert Anderson, Director, London Contact Improvisation; Seke Chimutengwende, choreographer, dancer, parent; Giuliana Majo, Director Tripspace; Bert Roman, Director Moveme, medical professional; Zosia Jo, dancer, movement lecturer; Dr Jane Munro, dancer, choreographer, lecturer; Alexandra Baybutt, artist, researcher, educator; Henry Montes, performer, dance lecturer; Jo Willis, creative director Shallal; Katye Coe, dancer; Tamara Ashley, lecturer, researcher, producer; Johnathon Byers, cellist, teacher, concert promoter; Rachel Dean, dance artist; Nina Feldman, performer and cultural practitioner, parent; Robert Vesty, lecturer; Dagmara Billon, dancer and lecturer; Dr Carolyn Deby, artist/researcher Sirenscrossing; Jan-Ming Lee, musician and dancer; Tania Soubry, dancer, choreographer, facilitator; Genevieve Maxwell, dance artist, choreographer, parent and lecturer; Holly Cullen-Davies, musician, educator; Sally Davies, musician and theatre maker; Marcus Caranbola, musician; Emma Zangs, dancer, choreographer; Eve Stainton, artist and performance asker; Danny Green, musician; Ashley Handel, audience member; Alice Yglesias, Islington parent; Gulcin Ozdemir, Islington parent; Beatrice Adigun, Islington parent; Samira Bella, Islington parent