It was a true pleasure to attend a real live student graduation after the difficult years of 2020 and 2021. GSMD's event was held in the actual City of London Guildhall (pictured, the Lord Mayor's Coach, presumably MOT'd for its annual ride round the City at the Lord Mayor's Show this month.) The School kindly presented me with an Honorary Fellowship, and invited me to speak to the assembled graduating class. I was in awe of a group who cover just about every artistic, performance and production discipline (including nobly, Music Therapy) and who somehow completed their degrees including two years worth of Covid-enforced distance learning. Their teachers also deserve huge admiration.
This was a joyous day, with bright sunshine to match - until I left the great building and switched on my phone again. News was beginning to filter through about ACE's funding cuts for the next three years. Having just spent several hours in a congregation of brilliantly qualified arts personnel-to-be, I found it impossible to manage the disconnect with various acts of financial and social short-sightedness. GSMD's brilliant graduates will find good careers, have no doubt - but it's increasingly likely that they won't be doing it in this country.