In Cuba after the Revolution, creativity was integrated into the curriculum from primary school onwards. Tens of thousands of arts teachers were trained and their creative skills disseminated to the furthest corners of the island. Facilities were made available for everyone to explore their creativity. Artists were given bursaries to learn and practise their craft. Museums, galleries and cinemas were built and restored in every town. Today, it costs roughly the same price as an egg to watch a film or a play or a ballet, and Cuba is one of the most culturally literate places on the planet.
Creativity must be made integral to the social, emotional and cognitive development of children from the early years throughout primary school and beyond. At the same time, the arts must be freed from market forces and recognised for their individual and social value. I recently researched and drafted a substantial parliamentary report called Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing, which argues that creativity can help to overcome health inequalities by improving educational outcomes, employment prospects, housing and communities, health and social care. We have staggering levels of inequality in Thanet and a growing concentration of committed artists. In the process of creating a fairer society, South Thanet would benefit greatly from enabling creativity to help mitigate inequality.