Merry in our own way

“The artist walks where the breath of the spirit blows her.

She cannot be told her direction.

She doesn’t know it herself.

But she leads the rest of us into fresh pastures and teaches us to love and enjoy what we often begin by rejecting.

(was “he” of course)

“At last the Public Exchequer has recognised the support, the encouragement of the civilising arts and life as part of their duty.

“I don’t believe it’s yet realised what an important thing has happened. State patronage of the arts has crept in and it’s happened in a very English, informal, unostentatious way. Half-baked, if you like.

“By provision of concert halls, modern libraries, theatres and suitable centres we desire to assure our people full access to the great heritage of culture in this nation. How satisfactory it woud be if different parts of the citizenry would again walk their several ways as they once did.

Let every part of merrie England be merry in its own way.

“Death to Hollywood!”

– John Maynard Keynes’ BBC radio talk about the founding of the Arts Council, July 1945

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