Published on January 22, 2014 | by Sophie Smallshaw


Islington councillor praises CSM and its students

Shelly Asquith of SUARTs

‘Arts for All’ was founded by SUARTS president Shelly Asquith [Mary Sommer]

Islington Labour councillor Alice Perry has publicly backed Central Saint Martins in its new home, and applauded its students.

Perry’s comments were made in a column in the Islington Gazette early in January.

Praising CSM for its strong position in art education, she wrote: “It’s great to see the UAL students flourishing in Islington, especially since the opening of their fantastic new campus in King’s Cross.”

Perry stressed the importance of  the arts and art education: “Art plays an important role in our society. Art supports tourism, our creative industries and helps us achieve a better understanding of ourselves.”

She also voiced support for the SUARTS’ campaign ‘Arts for All’.


The campaign, founded by SUARTS’ president Shelly Asquith, focuses on protecting the future of art education and the investment of funding in the creative industries.

A particular area of interest for SUARTS is the cost of attending UAL and how high tuition fees affect the creative futures of students. Asquith believes “that anyone who wants to study an arts degree should not be prevented from doing so because of financial restraints.”

Samantha Rubin, a Chelsea College of Arts alumna, agrees: “It’s difficult to begin your own creative business when you’re in thousands of pounds of debt from education and living costs.”

Many have found government plans for the arts to be discouraging, with public figures such as Grayson Perry and Sir David Hare expressing concern over the future of art education.

Councillor Perry hopes that the government will come up with an initiative to help those wanting to take up a career in the arts.

She told Arts London News: “It should be the most talented people who get opportunities and not just those who can afford it.”

“People talk down on art degrees and it’s ridiculous, but at the end of the day, everyone has a creative side and they should be allowed to explore it,” she concluded.


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