Latest news on the Campaign to save the V&A Theatre & Performance Department
29 March 2021
We would like to report that over 17 000 people have signed SIBMAS' petition to Save the V&A Theatre & Performance Department from being closed.
We would like to report that over 17 000 people have signed SIBMAS’ petition to Save the V&A Theatre & Performance Department from being closed. During this month such media as The Stage, Museums Association, The Spectator, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, arthistoricum.net, The Guardian, Nachkritik.de, BBC Radio, The Telegraph, V&A Blog and Artnet posted news items on the tragedy that might take place in the performing art world if no action will be taken. You can find the overview of press articles and reactions on their website.
In response to the recent statement by the V&A concerning the National Art Library and archive jobs SIBMAS sent out a new press release.
“We welcome the V&A’s decision to slow down its process of making cuts to both National Art Library and Theatre and Performance archive jobs, and to make use of the extended furlough scheme. However this still leaves the status of the Theatre and Performance Department unclear and only partly addresses the issues raised in the petition that over 16,000 people signed. We need the V&A to address questions about how their proposals protect the unique character of performing arts collections, as recognised by UNESCO, and keep the promises made when the Theatre Museum was closed in 2007.
We have great concerns as to the V&A’s proposed new approach to its structure with the loss of a dedicated specialist department by grouping together of collection areas due to “natural synergies”. Theatre & Performance in the UK not only deserves its own national specialist department, but it should also have its own museum. SIBMAS laments the simple fact that the UK does not have such a national theatre museum of performance, when across Europe specialist museums are part of the backbone of many nations’ museums cultures. At very least we should support a specialist department in a major UK museum and have it recognised as such.
We now have a great opportunity for dialogue, and we call on the V&A to reach out to SIBMAS and other stakeholders in the theatre heritage and wider performing arts sector, in order to seek creative ways of ensuring the best possible continued stewardship of, and the widest possible access to, these unique resources.”
You can still support our colleagues of the V&A in different ways:
- Please sign the petition at change.org and share the news on the petition in your own networks (http://chng.it/HFgsGKXdyv)
- You can send an open letter of protest & support to the V&A. We prepared a template of an open letter for SIBMAS members and for people who are interested in saving the V&A’s Theatre & Performance Department
- You can send our press release to journalists in your country
For the latest news on the Campaign to save the V&A Theatre & Performance Department, please visit the campaign page on the SIBMAS website.
Thanks for all your efforts!