Rachel Baker on public art in Cramley:
Cramley's artists are an asset to the community Because of the policy of an 80% reduction in community charge to holders of an artistic license, 30% of the bourough is populated by artists. But the question often put to me is: "How does art address the social problems of homelessness, rising unemployment and environmental crises?"
We have some of the finest murals on hospital walls, social security offices and a beautiful collection of public portaloos. But when culture is used as a cosmetic to whitewash the cracks in our society, it can lead to self-indulgence and decadence. That is why the culture and technolgy alliance proposes to provide funding for activists art project that adress some of our social problems and provide radical platforms for the marginalised and the dispossessed Examples of such projects already funded include the zine 'Blast' which identifies the underground scene in Cramley, a pirate radio station - Phase FM, and the cyberbar, RadicalNet. With this initiatives the comunity can only be enriched because its from this alternative environment that tomorrow's talent eventually emerges to become leaders of the community.