UK bosses give informal backing to the arts

According
to a poll of some of the UK’s top bosses, children are much more likely to
become successful and contribute to a stronger workforce if they take part in
the arts when young.

The
new research shows that 80 per cent of business leaders believe that UK plc
would have a better quality workforce if people were exposed to the arts when
they are children.

In
the survey – undertaken at the CBI Conference last month, for the Prince of
Wales’ Arts & Kids foundation – bosses were asked to rate how important
various arts activities were to them as a child.

Nine
out of 10 (93 per cent) said reading was important to them, followed by going
to the cinema (71 per cent), visiting art galleries and museums (60 per cent),
attending musical performances (54 per cent) and going to the theatre (50 per
cent).

One
in three business leaders in the research said they acted or played a musical
instrument as a child. More than 80 per cent read often, half drew or painted
regularly and 40 per cent were frequent visitors to art galleries and museums.

The
business leaders remained very interested in the arts. When asked to choose
their favourite arts pursuits, 33 per cent chose cinema, 26 per cent music, 25
per cent opted for theatre, 8 per cent chose reading, 7 per cent chose art and
5 per cent dance or ballet. Two-thirds of business leaders also actively
encourage their own children to get involved in the arts.

Colin
Tweedy, chief executive of Arts & Business, which runs Arts & Kids said:
"It’s really encouraging that Britain’s business community recognises the
importance of being exposed to the arts as children. The arts play an important
part in developing rounded individuals and building a better workforce for the
future."

By Quentin Reade

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