Arts Emergency

Benjamin Westhead

Students' Union President

Originally from Macclesfield, a mid sized town in the North-West of England, I spent much of my time at school not really knowing what it was that I was interested in. I knew from quite early on that I wanted to go to university, but perhaps simply because that was what people did, or it felt like the next logical step in life. It was only once I understood that studying art at university was a viable option that I realised my potential to succeed. Art and creativity have always been passions for me, but what I learnt at university studying Fine Art stretched well beyond the process of making ‘art’ and made me radically readdress how I think and respond to all aspects of my life.

Having been the voice representing the students of one of the largest creative universities in the world, I have seen first hand how this current government has devalued not only creativity in education, but the broader creative industries. The creative sector, and the quality of creative minds produced in the UK has been, and remains to be the envy of the rest of the world. Alongside that creativity has the capacity to break down the barriers of society; I want to ensure that it remains the same viable option in the eyes of the next generation of students.