I learned last night that the three main providers of arts in mid-Wales - theatre, music, shows, films and so on - have had their funding removed by the Arts Council. No explanation has been given, though I suspect it is to do with the Olympics, the British hosting of which will bring no benefit to this area at all.
It has come as a great shock to this scattered rural community and it will deprive many young people of the opportunity to identify and develop their artistic gifts, as well as denying us a source of cultural activity that is readily available elsewhere in the UK. Many areas do not have broadband and so home entertainment is unavailable where this is so. In future, to go to see a film will mean drive of an hour or more, and to get to a concert or a play may mean travelling two or three hours.
I am not complaining about what has happened since I believe so strongly that everything happens for a good reason. If the decision to cut the funding is not reversed, which seems likely, then the community will develop the resources within itself to compensate for the loss. Already, one or two churches round here show vintage films on a Friday night, the Village Halls are active with events, and The Living Willow Theatre across the river from where I live, established quite recently, puts on wonderful plays using local and visiting talent, and other events including a summer festival.
So, it may be that this news will bring everybody together even more, though it may mean that people will need to be imaginative about what they do and how young talent can be developed. The community spirit is strong and it will not be denied.