Updated August 2011: Letters of support following the Arts Council's funding decision
The Asian Music Circuit has received many letters of support following Arts Council England's decision to cut 100% of its funding from April 2012. We thank everybody who has been in touch for their ongoing appreciation of our work; below is a selection received so far.
If you've been touched by the AMC's work over the past twenty years, please read our official statement and show your support...
- by signing the petition - it takes just ten seconds and we need to gather as many signatures as possible
- by sending letters of support direct to us via email@example.com or to our postal address
"So sorry to hear about the funding crisis – I’m sure I’m repeating what many others will have said – the AMC is unique, with a long-standing broad spectrum of diverse cultural offerings and expertise. Over the twenty years I’ve been attending concerts, workshops and events, there’s always been a wide range of ages and ethnicities. This shortsighted decision must be reversed! Where else, for example, could you do a workshop with bansuri master and legend Pandit Hari-Prasad Chaurasig!? “I’m sorry, I’m a beginner”, I said. “I, too, am a beginner”, he replied, smiling. I really wish you well with this campaign. Even cynically, as the world rushes to embrace the emerging economic giant, China – the AMC have been presenting Chinese music and culture for years."
- Sue Shorter
"A message to congratulate you and your staff on providing music and dance from Afghanistan to Zanzibar for the past twenty years. You have enriched people culturally and educationally by bringing diverse forms of art from throughout the world – thus bridging the gulf between different cultures who live in the United Kingdom … It is a shame that when we should congratulate you and celebrate as you have reached twenty years – we are somewhat disappointed that the Arts Council of England have decided to stop funding your voluntary organisation. The Arts Council should play a major part to enrich one’s life through all forms of art such as music, dance, art, poetry, story-telling etc; this decision would be a major blow during the current economic climate. We urge the Arts Council to reverse its drastic decision because when the economic situation of a country is bad, all forms of art keep the spirit of people high and at one stroke they will disappoint thousands and thousands of people. The Arts Council should be proud that because of their funding to the Asian Music Circuit, they have enriched the lives of many, especially us."
- Harish, Chandni and Rikesh Shah
"It is with great dismay that I learned that government funds will no longer be allocated to the Asian Music Circuit. I have been on the AMC mailing list for well over eleven years and can say without hesitation that your organisation has proved to be of immense value. I have been given, time and time again, rare opportunities to meet people who have dedicated a lifetime to their work. They came from all over the world.
In an age where violence has become an accepted recourse for all sides, the AMC promotes an antidote. I am planning a trip to Afghanistan inspired by last September’s festival of Afghan culture that you organised … Mohandas Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. The AMC is allowing me to do so, gracefully and peacefully. To deny public funds for a task that clearly cannot be entrusted to government, to fail to support this organisation and simply leave it to its own devices, is destructive in more ways than one."
- Veronique Guillot
"We attended and immensely enjoyed the Anuradha Paudwal concert on Sunday 10th July 2011. We are very sad that from April 2012 the Arts Council will not fund the Asian Music Circuit and wish our sadness to be made known to the Arts Council. We ordinary people can only attend the concerts due to the reasonable prices charged by Asian Music Circuit when they get funding from the Arts Council."
- Raj Patel
"As you know, there has been a long history of co-operation between the AMC and the Bhavan. Even as I write, I am still receiving complimentary remarks and messages concerning the Vedic event we both staged here on the 2nd July . I also remember other collaborations such as the one we jointly presented here (and the AMC subsequently toured) with Kadri Gopalnath and Evan Parker.
There is no doubt that the loss of the Asian Music Circuit will deprive many, throughout the country, of the opportunity to hear Asian and Indian music. I sincerely hope that the Arts Council will reconsider its decision accordingly."
- M. N. Nandakumara, Executive Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
"We have been informed that from March 2012 the Asian Music Circuit will lose 100% of its funding from you [Arts Council England]. This is shocking news for members of our academy. Our aim is to keep Indian culture alive in the UK and we have been supporters of the AMC’s activities which they have carried out marvellously for over 20 years. They do not only promote music and dances from the Indian sub-continent but have expanded their activities to include music of other Asian countries. This is an outstanding achievement.
Their Summer School programmes have provided a venue for people of all backgrounds – Asians & non-Asians – and of all ages to learn and to understand the intricacies of Indian & other Oriental classical music. For many who have been attending these sessions, summers will not be the same. Students travel not only from many parts of Britain to London to attend these sessions, but from far afield as Germany, Italy, Scandinavia etc. Please do not deprive many pensioners who derive immense pleasure through these sessions. We appeal to you to reconsider your decision and continue to provide the AMC with funding to carry on with their invaluable service to the community at large."
- Bhadra Vadgama, Secretary General, Gujarati Literary Academy
"We are absolutely shocked and disappointed at the news of AMC's funding being withdrawn by the Art Council from 2012. AMC is 20years old this year and has played a major part in contributing to the wider culture in the UK by providing high quality events and free membership. The removal of the funding will leave a big gap in the diverse music and Asian art culture that AMC has fulfilled for the last 20 years. We truly support all the fantastic work AMC does and sincerely hope that the Art Council reverses the decision because it seems so irrational and unfair."
- Bharat & Paru Lakhani
"We are absolutely devastated by the news of 100% funding withdrawal. The Arts Council should really re-think."
- Keith Tippett, Julie Tippetts
"I have been privileged over more than six years to attend performances of music and dance by world-class artists from Asia or of Asian cultural tradition, all of which were brought to fruition by the Asian Music Circuit. These have included music and dancing by children of Asian descent, taught in Britain, some of whom were very young, yet all of whom performed to a professional standard, folk dancing by Gujerati farmers remarkable in its complexity and precision, a thumri artist who excelled in both singing and dancing and many other musicians, folk, classical, and innovative. I have attended and enjoyed memorable events such as "Gujerat – a Celebration", "The Dying Song" and an entire day of Indian music and dance at the BBC Proms. There have been many more performances, such as the music of Afghanistan, which I would have liked to attend, if the venue had been more convenient for me.
I am aware of the great effort which has gone into the setting up and expanding the work of the Asian Music Circuit, of the self-esteem it has provided for many young people of Asian origin living in Britain and of how much attending such enjoyable and high-class performances could raise the stature of Asian members of our community. In a "global village" should we not be looking outwards, beyond what is familiar, however loved, to appreciate what other cultures can offer?
The Arts Council’s 100% cut of funding for the Asian Music Circuit, an organisation unique in Britain, is inconsistent with its 1989 position. I fully support the 4th April 2011 statement issued by the Asian Music Circuit in response to the Arts Council’s decision and I urge that the decision be re-considered."
- Julie Irene Malcolm
"I want to write and tell you how upset I am to hear of your funding being taken away and please feel free to use this letter as extra feedback in your campaign.
I am British but not of Asian background. I have been receiving your newsletters since you started. What I love about your organisation is that there is absolutely no other way I would be able to find out where concerts and performances are without you, because I live in Northampton. Your newsletters always give me a fantastic summary of what is on and where in the UK. In fact I am 55 years old and your group is the only one that I have remained subscribed to all through the years. I totally appreciate your help in directing my cultural life and experiences.
I have attended so many concerts, such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Afghani musicians, Yulduz Ozmanova from Uzbekistan, Muslim singers and dancers from China, classical Indian dance and music, Iranian music such as the Kamkars, Natasha Atlas and so many other performers. I would never have been able to find out they were performing without you.
In my opinion you are essential because you inform both Asian and non-Asian communities about what is on and where and that helps support the artists and the venues where they are performing. The UK is so multicultural now, too, and the events you support bring everyone together.
I wish you every success in getting your funding reinstated. I shall be devastated if you cannot survive."
- Anne D’heygers
"We hereby strongly support the Asian Music Circuit and it is our strong conviction that the AMC works for the noble cause of propagating Asian music. Giving stage to Asian music for a country like the UK, where a considerable portion of the total population is Asian, is a social need and music (especially the indiginous folk and classical music of Asia) must be available in the UK for the major strata of people who live there. The AMC has been working for the last 20 years and is in the 'good books' of musicians throughout Asia. Music is a medium stong enough to bring countries together; in the present age, we can't spare such a powerful means of global peace."
- Sonal Shah
"We as the Croydon Music Festival members have been deeply distressed and disturbed to know that the Asian Music Circuit is not going to obtain any [Arts Council] funding from this year.
I feel that this is the only authentic Asian organisation that has been helping to promote musicians from all over the world irrespective of their backgrounds, culture and creed. They have brought in renowned artists, musicians and musical instruments from all over the world and shown what we in Britain can develop and achieve successfully.
The Asian Music Circuit has been the pioneer in the interactive music room and the South Asian Music archive which is a unique and most precious possession. They provided the ideal platform to bring the various communities together through high quality art at all levels, including the young as well as the old.
Viram Jasani has been supporting the Croydon Music Festival since the 1990s with his innovative musical ideas. However, since I joined the Croydon Music Festival in 1993, my closer contacts with the Asian Music Circuit developed in 1999, when I, along with the then Chairperson of Croydon Music festival Helen Snart, went to seek Viram Jasani’s advice and support to expand our Asian Section of the Festival.
Without any hesitation Viram very kindly offered us his vision and helped us to start the Asian Music Circuit Award of £1000 in the Festival. Since 2009, he has increased the Asian Music Circuit Award to £1500 and has also provided us with the Asian Music Circuit Junior Award of £500. He has also been accommodating us with some of the adjudicators’ fees.
Whenever we as an association need any help or advice about the adjudicators he has always extended it to us. He also prepared the Asian adjudicators for the Festival and gave them some training in Liaison with the British Federation. His link with the festival has immensely improved and inspired the young/old to become Young Musicians and some of them are now well known to the British Society, BBC and in the world.
If the funding is cut, it will be a great loss to our needs in the field of Music and we will lose all the good work which has been established, pioneered and brought to the British world by the Asian Music Circuit in collaboration with the Asian Music Section of the Croydon Music Festival."
- Croydon Music Festival members
"I write to say how angry and sad I am at the Arts Council’s decision to cut all the Asian Music Circuit’s funding. Over the years your organisation has done such an incredible job staging inspiring concerts of music in the UK from so many different countries and attracting a wonderful rich mix of audiences. This move is absurdly short-sighted and very shabby indeed. What a waste after all your hard work. I can only hope that you will find a generous philanthropist able to give you the support you deserve."
- Katriana Hazell
"We cannot understand why this grant has been removed; it seems contrary to the aims of the Arts Council.
We haved spent many magical times at events organized by the AMC. The educational programmes provided by the AMC have stimulated an interest and understanding in Asian music, particularly in the young. which no other organization can replace.
We hope that the decision rescinded entirely or that at least a partial restoration of the grant can be agreed."
- Elizabeth Winter & Robert Arguile
"My family and I are dismayed and shocked to learn that the AMC's funding will be completely withdrawn from 2012.
You are the only organisation catering for the entire country, bringing in exceptional but sometimes unknown artists from the Indian subcontinent and touring outside London. Recent horrific increases in visa fees, air fares and other travel costs, mean that many of these programmes will no longer be possible. We have been to a number of these, sometimes with members of our host community, and can vouch for their high class quality
I do support the Coalition Governments policy of reducing budgets generally, as the economic situation demands careful scrutiny of all aspects of government expenditure and funding. However, I am completely mystified at the 100% cut to your excellent organisation, when some level of scaling down would seem more appropriate.
I do hope your representations will enable the Arts Council to reconsider its draconian decision."
- Indra Sethia
"We are just shocked to hear the news of withdrawal of Arts Council [funding] from the Asian Music Circuit. How can it be possible?
The Asian Music Circuit has done a wonderful effort to establish the whole [of] Asian music in the UK since many many years and we were part of it. We have always considered the AMC as our family and we have been taking active part of its academic faculty as summer school [workshop leaders] to teach British students every year since last 13 years. Inspite of our very busy schedule, we have been giving our valuable time to teach students and now we and British students will be very much disappointed to learn that the AMC can not organize such a noble event without the help of Arts Council [England].
We request you to convey our appeal to the government of Britain and Arts Council to reconsider the decades long effort of the Asian Music Circuit and
continue the grant for a very noble cause."
- Rajan and Sajan Misra, khyal singers
"The AMC is a VITAL organisation."
- DJ Ritu, Radio presenter and DJ
"I'm really sorry to hear funding has been cut. I only discovered the AMC recently and it is amazing. I can't imagine how anyone can justify this decision."
- Ant Law
"AMC is dedicated to the cause of world class Asian music and musicians in the UK. AMC's work re-defines traditional world music from Asia by bridging 'tradition' with 21st century technology, innovation and mindset. It has a brilliant team and I sincerely hope it will continue to flourish despite the current politics of multiculturalism and funding crisis."
- Menaka PP Bora, Wingate Scholar-Artiste in Ethnomusicology, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
"The Asian Music Circuit, no doubt, has been doing a tremendous job in promoting and popularising Asian music in the UK and other countries. Their efforts to organise Hindustani classical music as well as Thumri, the romantic part of classical music, are highly commendable. They have attached high respects for these streams of heritage in the music of India.
I am a top grade artiste of All India Radio and DooDarshan [state television] and have performed in numerous prestigious music festivals and concerts in India and abroad, and have on some occasions worked with the AMCs ... its hard work in the field of music has been a very valuable contribution to the UK, also in respect of cultural activities of high quality.
I will urge the Arts Council to review their decision and again extend their full support to AMC so that they can revive their glorious musical activities and serve the the various streams of performing arts as before."
- Purnima Chaudhuri, performer
"It was very sad to hear about the Arts Council decision to cut funding for the Asian Music Circuit in the current round. The work you have done to promote Asian music is well known and greatly appreciated. We hope that you will be able to continue with this unique contribution to the diversity of culture in the United Kingdom in the future."
- Tashi Lhunpo Monastery UK Trust
"The removal of funding from the AMC is baffling, saddening, misguided, unenlightened and is a significant step backwards in presenting arts from the region. I believe the Arts Council has missed a once in a generation opportunity to use its resources and influence to move the sector forward in a balanced and cohesive direction. Instead of being cut, the AMC should be an important player in the emerging arts landscape."
- Kulbir Natt, Creative producer/journalist
"Over the years, the Asian Music Centre (AMC) has become synonymous with the promotion and distribution of high quality Asian music, including music from the Far East: China, Japan and Korea. The members and core performers of London Jing Kun Opera Association have been beneficiaries of their programmes as audience, participants, workshop leaders and performers. We are immensely appreciative and proud of our working relationship with the AMC, and indeed we look forward to many years of collaboration. For a small, dedicated organisation like ourselves, working with an ‘umbrella’ organisation like the AMC helps to extend our audience outreach and to maximise our work opportunities. The AMC should remain a high priority for funding by the Arts Council of England. Its many years of outstanding work must not be sacrificed due to the demands for cuts by the present government."
- Kathy Hall, Chief Executive Officer, on behalf of the Board and members of the London Jing Kun Opera Association
"We are devastated by the letter from Viram Jasani regarding the 100% withdrawal of funding for the AMC - an institution that has contributed so fully to the sub-continent's stature within the cultural milieu of the West. The AMC's achievements ... are much valued by all music and culture lovers and I feel that the Arts Council funding withdrawal is completely unacceptable. It is also humiliating to all Indian music lovers and to those who cherish the different strands of the sub-continent's heritage. I will try and galvanise support by cascading this news to my friends and colleagues. I sincerely hope they can write to the AMC expressing support and register their deep displeasure with this unfair unilateral decision."
- Bhaskar Dasgupta
"I am very sad to know this news. [For] many years, what your organisation has done for Asian music and culture is amazing. I am a musician and pray that your organisation will get help ... personally I am very sad to hear this news."
- Rajkumar Misra
"I am very disappointed to hear of this decision, although I recognise the need for cuts. Across the board these seem to be being done as knee jerk reactions or to make a point and needlessly decimating quality enterprises that probably can never be recaptured. The arts are of course a soft target.
I am white British and have been delighted by the range of programmes that the AMC produce. I have attended several and would have attended a lot more had finances permitted. These are not just performances but also education [events] and were I a musician I would have wanted to also participate in many of your workshops. We are so myopic in the UK despite having a diaspora of cultures and nationalities. This is a very retrograde and dare I say almost racist decision that [pushes us] back on developing understanding and racial integration. What is British has vastly changed and we need to help society integrate that change. The arts are a wonderful way of achieving that, developing integration, knowledge and understanding. We all need to tighten our belts but let's not destroy all that is good and enriching in the process.
Beauty and sustenance of our spirit will help us, will be nourishing and supportive in times of cut backs of our profligate ways."
- David Byrne
"I am writing in heartfelt support of the Asian Music Circuit’s efforts to reverse the most unfortunate decision by the Arts Council to withdraw its funding.
For a start we would do well to ponder the significance of the word Asian, given the fact that Asia is not only the world’s largest and most populous continent, with many of its oldest civilisations, but also that it is poised to become the dominant force on the world stage. To lose a unique organisation like the AMC at such a pivotal time in history is at best short-sighted; at worst we could end up as an insignificant off-shore island, culturally as well as geographically.
It must be stressed that the AMC is not one of those organisations run by Indians for the Indian diaspora but has the widest possible remit, encompassing all musical traditions of Asia. Above all it benefits the whole population of the UK. Countless British students, educators and the public at large have been able to study many of the great Asian traditions with leading artists from the region concerned. The successful summer schools run by the AMC are one of its greatest achievements. Nothing else can give such an insight and potentially life-changing experience, most importantly to trained and untrained musicians alike.
The sheer diversity and imaginatively modern activities and facilities offered by the AMC must also be highlighted. Concerts and workshops can be taken for granted, but their presentation is not always as straightforward. The AMC has developed its premises to accommodate the kind of informal, intimate recitals and exchanges found in the courts and houses, both of the past and present. They are much more rewarding (not to mention cost-effective) than the standard concert-hall experience, which puts many people off, not only for its price but also for its social conventions. In the same building are archives, a museum and one of the most exciting interactive teaching aids invented in recent times. As part of its aim to take its range of activities around the country and not content itself with remaining a London-based organisation, the AMC will soon be bringing this interactive technology to the institution from where I am writing. We are eagerly awaiting such a special occasion.
My last point is that the unique programme and educational opportunities offered by the AMC represent extraordinarily good value for money. Losing them will create a far greater deficit than sustaining the relatively small amount of funding required for the pioneering work to continue, as I fervently hope it will."
- Dr Neil Sorrell, Music Department, University of York
"I write to say how sorry I am that the Arts Council has withdrawn funding for AMC. I was extremely impressed by AMC’s presentation here at the Institute of Musical Research in February this year, which demonstrated just how vibrant and exciting the AMC’s broad portfolio of work has become. It truly engages with communities, and the DigiGuru work that you showcased on that occasion was utterly fascinating. I was impressed equally by the way in which AMC is embracing technologies in disseminating its work. Technology is frequently frightening, but this was inviting, and intuitive. I can only imagine that, if it is allowed to continue to prosper, then DigiGuru would be a technology that draws people into understanding and enjoying ragas, and from a broad community and societal perspective. There is further potential for DigiGuru to play a role in connecting communities through shared understanding ... I do hope the Arts Council decision can be reversed or delayed."
- Professor John Irving, Director (The Institute of Musical Research)
"I am very shocked to know the decision of Arts Council England. I have seen and experienced for last many years the hard work and the standard maintained by AMC in all their projects in UK. It is really unfortunate that the Arts Council England has stopped their grant completely. Your concerts were always eagerly awaited by all the Asian listeners in London. It is a loss for not only AMC but various artists from Asian countries who have presented different forms of art from folk to classical to instrumental and dance and ghazals."
- Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, khyal singer and professor
"[The AMC] has been doing groundbreaking work in bringing the best quality Asian music to people in this country. Its outreach work has also been excellent. I have been a loyal audience member for the last 12 years and had great experience in working with you for The Dying Song ... I am sure many share my sense of outrage and as you have said in The Independent - the multicultural profile of the arts is now passe - so AMC was brought into being by the 80s ideology and now the picture has been dramatically reversed."
- Sangeeta Datta, film producer and director
"The AMC certainly deserves recognition for all its brilliant work."
- Aditya Chakrabortty, journalist (The Guardian)
"We live in St Ives in Cornwall and each month we are privileged to spend an evening in our Arts Club listening to world music. The Arts Club is old and small and can therefore only seat a small number. We pay a modest price for our tickets and this enables the not-so-rich to attend. It is a special venue. The artists always comment on the intimacy and friendliness. Will Sleath, who organises the events, chooses the musicians and singers which we would otherwise be unaware of.
Please reconsider your decision to withdraw the [Asian Music Circuit’s] funding. Your support is very necessary in order for these unique performances to continue."
- Anne Wilcox
"I am deeply shocked and stunned at finding out that AMC, one of the most prominent pan-Asian organisations promoting music and the arts, has had its funding cut. At a time like this, we need organisations like the AMC to lift the spirit [and] bring people together, which happens easily through the Arts.
I have … dancers working and staying with me from Europe (Germany and Holland); they are amazed at the community and cultural cohesion in London. [They all] feel London is a great model for the world to emulate multi-culturalism, working in harmony. It’s [thanks to the] work that organisations like AMC provide that this cultural harmony and diversity a reality.
It’s crucial AMC is funded and sustained regularly. [I am] in support of all the fantastic work AMC does."
- Anusha Subramanyam
"A very sad day"
- Jih-Wen Yeh Ball, Artistic Director and Producer (Step Out Arts)
"I am desparately sad to read the news about of the Arts Council decision."
- Prashun Chakraverty
"I am deeply saddened by this news. Personally, I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I have always been for the amazing opportunity AMC gave me. Learning from Udayji, a great teacher, who gave all his time, attention and care to his group of students have been a real priviledge and an amazing experience. I am sure others will agree with me too. If this is going to be our last workshop, then summer will not be the same again. I can only hope that it won't come to this."
- Indrani Purkayastha
"I am numb with shock to hear about the way Arts Council has treated AMC. Frankly speaking this is absolutely scandalous - How can they wipe off the wonderful work of an organisation who has contributed so much to Asian Music with one stroke?!! We will all be poor without the contribution of AMC. Please do not despair. I want to congratulate all the AMC staff members for keeping our culture alive. I am sure you will all continue to do so despite this hiccup. All the very best. We will continue to support AMC and its work and look forward to the forthcoming programmes."
- Lata Desai
"You personally may not be aware of the activities of AMC and the good work it has done over the last 20 years to support, maintain and promote the culture of Music and Dance from all over Asia: a visit to their website ... will provide a lot of relevant information and we suggest you take a look when you have a spare moment ... This move will inevitably result in a dearth of future growth of Asian Music and Dance in this country and this is so tragic – as [the government] appear so keen in public to promote multicultural diversity; and this kind of steps to stop the funding (which was barely minimum anyway) to ethnic cultural group completely is outrageous, and unjust – and contradicts the government’s pronouncements – before and after the last general elections ... we hope and trust that someone in authority will see sense and choose to reverse the decision that has been taken about cutting 100% the funding to AMC."
- Vipin Shah
"I hope so much that a way will be found to sustain AMC in some form into the future ... I just want to register our appreciation of the terrific work AMC has been doing for Music in Detention, and express the hope that AMC will live on."
- John Speyer, Music in Detention
"Like you I suspect, I was shocked by some of the Arts Council’s decisions, not least to disinvest from whole areas of previous support. I shall look forward to hearing of your progress."
- David Pratley
"So sorry to have heard the shocking news. It must be a terrible blow but glad to know that AMC is going to fight for its survival"
- Sanjeevini Dutta, Editor (Pulse magazine)
"I was devastated to hear that your grant has been axed. For what it's worth I intend to write to the Arts Council to express my anger at their shortsightedness and lack of awareness of the vital role that the AMC has in building a peaceful multi-cultural Britain through sharing culture at the deepest most meaningful level. Hoping that you will be able to continue in some way shape or form."
- Brian Lee
"On behalf of London Music Society (incorporating SAZ o AWAZ) and on my own behalf I fully support you and the AMC for what has been stated in your statement. The AMC fulfils a great cultural need of Asians and the host community, an increasing number of whom attend to events sponsored by AMC. I strongly recommend that the support from Arts Council continues as before."
- Adeel Y Siddiqi, Secretary (London Music Society, inc. SAZ o AWAZ)
"I'm still reeling after the shock news. Looking at my past programmes I see that 13 of the 23 World Classics Series concerts, which started in 2007, have been through the AMC. Where would we be without you! Also, our total audience to date is nearly 1,500 - quite something for a tiny venue. Let's hope there's a real barrage of letters!"
"Very shocked to hear of AMC's exclusion from the national portfolio."
"[The AMC] made me feel that I have participated in a positive improvement in the British cultural experience, akin to a movement somehow … It is with a heavy heart that I read in a copy of a national newspaper, this week, that the ‘arts council’ has withdrawn its support. I feel that my efforts should be directed to giving you some support in the same way that your dedication has encouraged me. It is difficult to know what that feeling will be best expressed, towards, but I’m sure that working together will help us come through, somehow. … the best of luck for the difficult times, ahead"