Arts Emergency

Richard Roper

Editor at a Publishing House

I studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield, simply because reading and writing was the thing that excited me most at school. I loved my degree – to get to read books and plays all day and then talk about them with likeminded people was an amazing way to spend three years of my life. I probably couldn’t tell at the time, but being involved in the arts has made me the person who I am today.

I was lucky enough to be one of the last group of students to do my degree before the first wave of extortionate tuition fees came in. I have been so saddened and angered by this latest government’s reprehensible attack on the arts. I recently spoke to a friend whose sister was going to be doing English but had changed to do a Business Studies degree ‘because I can’t afford to be that much in debt and not be able to pay it back straight away’.

I’m sure that’s just one example of the thousands of young students who are being told that art for art’s sake is wrong. Through Arts Emergency, Josie and Neil have been a huge inspiration. I have been lucky enough to end up in a publishing, working on books all day, and if there’s a way I can help someone who’s looking to do the same thing, then that’s a small way of fighting the good fight as far as I’m concerned.