Party to celebrate the importance of arts in our schools

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Art Party, Showroom Cinema

There’s a special screening of this 12A film on Thursday, which traces protests to support the teaching of arts in schools.

In 2011, Patrick Brill (known creatively as Bob and Roberta Smith) made waves in the art world with Letter to Michael Gove, an oversized painted-word response to the former Education Secretary’s proposed eradication of art from the British school syllabus.

In the film, Smith builds on his 2011 protest with a mix of performance, interviews and imagined scenes en route to the 2013 Art Party Conference, where he and other speakers championed the importance of art and its place in the education system.

Part documentary, part road movie and part political fantasy, Art Party ultimately asks “How do you tell one man he’s got it wrong?”

The film stars John Voce as Michael Grove MP and Julia Rayner as his parliamentary aide.

It features work and comment by artists including Cornelia Parker, John Smith, Haroon Mirza, Jeremy Deller and Jessica Voorsanger.

Original music comes from Flameproof Moth, the Ken Ardley Playboys and The F***s.

The special showing has been timed to coincide with the day that the GCSE exam results are announced.

In the Independent newspaper this week, Smith described the film as “a call-to-arms to protect the future of the creative arts in this country; a future which is being jeopardised by the current government, as it does its best to minimise arts subjects (art, music, drama, dance and design) in the school curriculum”.

To book tickets, go to or call 0114 2757727.