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Downing Street

Downing Street is a street in London that houses the official residences and offices of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Situated off Whitehall, a few minutes' walk from the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street was built in the 1680s by Sir George Downing. For more than three hundred years, it has held the official residences of both the First Lord of the Treasury, the office now synonymous with that of the Prime Minister, the Second Lord of the Treasury, the office held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; the Prime Minister's official residence is 10 Downing Street. The government's Chief Whip has an official residence at Number 12; the current Chief Whip's residence is at Number 9. The houses on the south side of the street were demolished in the 19th century to make way for government offices now occupied by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the term "Downing Street" is used as a metonym for the Government of the United Kingdom. The street was built in the 1680s by Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet, on the site of a mansion, Hampden House.

It is not known what was on the site before the mansion, but there is evidence of a brewhouse called'The Axe', owned by the Abbey of Abingdon. Downing was a soldier and diplomat who served under Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II, who invested in properties and acquired considerable wealth. In 1654, he purchased the lease on land east of Saint James's Park, adjacent to the House at the Back, within walking distance of Parliament. Downing planned to build a row of townhouses "for persons of good quality to inhabit". However, the Hampden family had a lease; when the Hampden lease expired, Downing received permission to build further west to take advantage of recent developments. The new warrant issued in 1682 reads: "Sir George Downing... to build new and more houses further westward on the grounds granted him by the patent of 1663/4 Feb. 23. The present grant is by reason that the said Cockpit or the greater part thereof is since demolished. Between 1682 and 1684, Downing built the cul-de-sac of two-storey townhouses with coach-houses and views of St James's Park.

How many he built is not clear. The addresses changed several times. Downing employed Sir Christopher Wren to design the houses. Although large, they were put up and cheaply on soft soil with shallow foundations; the fronts had facades with lines painted on the surface imitating brick mortar. Winston Churchill wrote that Number 10 was "shaky and built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear"; the upper end of the Downing Street cul-de-sac closed access to St James's Park, making the street quiet and private. An advertisement in 1720 described it as "a pretty open Place at the upper end, where are four or five large and well-built Houses, fit for Persons of Honour and Quality; the houses had several distinguished residents. The Countess of Yarmouth lived at Number 10 between 1688 and 1689, Lord Lansdowne from 1692 to 1696 and the Earl of Grantham from 1699 to 1703; the diarist James Boswell took rooms in Downing Street during his stay in London during 1762–63 at a rent of £22 per annum.

He records having dealings with prostitutes in the adjacent park. Downing never lived in his townhouses. In 1675 he retired to Cambridge, his portrait hangs in the entrance foyer of the modern Number 10. The Downing family built Downing College, established in 1800, after its founder Sir George Downing, 3rd Baronet, left a portion of his estate to establish Downing College when the land became available.. The houses between Number 10 and Whitehall were acquired by the government and demolished in 1824 to allow the construction of the Privy Council Office, Board of Trade and Treasury offices. In 1861, the houses on the south side of Downing Street were replaced by purpose-built government offices for the Foreign Office, India Office, Colonial Office, the Home Office. 1-8 Downing Street were the houses between Number 9 and Whitehall that were taken over by the government and demolished in 1824 to allow the construction of the Privy Council Office, Board of Trade and Treasury offices. 9 Downing Street, named in 2001, is the Downing Street entrance to the Privy Council Office and houses the Department for Exiting the European Union.

It was part of Number 10. 10 Downing Street is the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The two roles have been filled by the same person since the 1720s with no exceptions, it has fulfilled this role since 1735. Three houses, Number 10 was offered to Sir Robert Walpole by King George II in 1732 and now contains 100 rooms. A private residence occupies the third floor and there is a kitchen in the basement; the other floors contain offices and conference, reception and dining rooms where the Prime Minister works, where government ministers, national leaders and foreign dignitaries are met and entertained. At the rear is an interior courtyard and a terrace overlooking a garden of 0.5 acres. Other residents of 10 Downing Street are the Spouse of the Prime Minister and family, Downing Street Director of Communications and Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. 11 Downing Street has b

Eady Levy

The Eady Levy was a tax on box-office receipts in the United Kingdom, intended to support the British film industry. It was introduced in 1950 as a voluntary levy as part of the Eady plan, named after Sir Wilfred Eady, a Treasury official; the levy, paid into the British Film Production Fund, was made compulsory in 1957 and terminated in 1985. A levy was first proposed by Harold Wilson president of the Board of Trade, in 1949; the levy was intended to assist producers of British films. A direct governmental payment to British-based producers would have qualified as a subsidy under the terms of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, would have led to objections from American film producers. An indirect levy did not qualify as a subsidy, so was a suitable way of providing additional funding for the UK film industry whilst avoiding criticism from abroad; the Eady Levy came into effect on 9 September 1950 on a voluntary basis to subsidize British film producers. In 1953, the UK Government indicated it would legislate if the exhibitors did not agree to continue the voluntary agreement.

It was not established on a statutory basis until its incorporation in the Cinematograph Films Act 1957. In the Eady Levy, a proportion of the ticket price was to be pooled – half to be retained by exhibitors and half to be divided among qualifying'British' films in proportion to UK box office revenue, with no obligation to invest in further production; the Finance Act 1950 had made the necessary changes in the entertainments tax. The levy was administered by the British Film Fund Agency. To qualify as a British film, a minimum of 85% of the film had to be shot in the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth, only three non-British individual salaries could be excluded from the costs of the film, ensuring the employment of British actors and film crew. In the first year, the levy was one quarter of a penny per ticket sold and raised $3 million however, in the second year the levy was tripled for ticket prices over 12 pence to to raise £3 million per annum. Note The levy had the effect of both assisting the film industry, reducing the effect of entertainment tax on film exhibition, to which all the cinema industry was opposed.

The rise in British cinema during the 1960s caused by an influx of American producers can be attributed to the Eady Levy – and to the cheaper production facilities – making it cost far less in the UK to achieve the same quality of production. A number of American film makers worked in Britain in this period on a near-permanent basis, including Sidney Lumet, Stanley Donen, John Huston. Stanley Kubrick moved to Britain in the early 1960s to make Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, among other films. Another expatriate American, Richard Lester, directed The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night and Help!. It was not only American film makers; these included François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. The Eady Levy provided funding for the National Film and Television School, which trained a number of directors and actors still in work today; the Eady Levy was intended to support UK film production. However, in a White Paper in 1984, the British Government recognised that the levy was no longer fulfilling its original purpose, with much of the payment going directly to distributors rather than producers, proving an unreasonable burden on the exhibition sector.

The year 1984 had seen the lowest cinema attendances in the UK of any year in recorded history - with only 54 million tickets sold, fewer than one ticket per head of population - thanks to competition from TV and home video, so the tax had a significant effect on the cinema chains' dwindling profits. The Eady Levy was terminated in 1985. National Film Finance Corporation Fenwick, James. "The Eady Levy,'The Envy of Most Other European Nations': Runaway Productions and the British Film Fund in the early 1960s.". In Hunter, I. Q.. The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History. Pp. 191–199. Retrieved 27 July 2019 – via Google Books. Magor, Maggie. "'For this relief much thanks.' Taxation, film policy and the UK government". Screen. 50: 299–307: 302–303 – via Internet Archive. Oakley, Charles Allen. Where we Came In: Seventy Years of the British Film Industry. Routledge. Pp. 27, 29, 197-. ISBN 9781317928676. Retrieved 27 July 2019. Romer, Stephen; the decline of the British film industry: an analysis of market structure, the firm and product competition.

Brunel University. Pp. 77–86. Retrieved 27 July 2019. Stubbs, Jonathan. "The Eady Levy: A Runaway Bribe? Hollywood Production and British Subsidy in the Early 1960s". Journal of British Cinema and Television. 6: 1–20. Doi:10.3366/E174345210900065X. Retrieved 27 July 2019

Hollis Sigler

Hollis Sigler was an lesbian Chicago-based artist. She died of breast cancer in 2001, at the age of 53. Sigler was born Suzanne Hollis Sigler in Gary, Indiana to Marilyn Ryan Sigler, her family moved to New Jersey when she was eleven. She completed grade school and high school there, receiving her diploma from Hightstown High School in 1966. Sigler began painting in elementary school, she went on to study art at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, where she was awarded the Bachelor of Arts in 1970. She had early success with a series of photo realist paintings that depicted underwater swimmers but by 1976, in a gesture meant to repudiate what she considered a male-dominated style, she abandoned realism in favor of a faux-naïve approach, her subject matter, presented in a way that suggested the work of an untutored or naïve artist, focused on a woman's world-view. A tendency toward autobiographical content was evident at the early stages of what would become her signature style. Breast cancer ran in Sigler's family.

Sigler received a diagnosis of breast cancer in August 1985. The artist underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy, but by 1993 the cancer had spread to her bones and spine. Among the first art works dealing with her illness that Sigler produced after her cancer diagnosis was a series of five vitreograph prints. Produced in the fall of 1985 at Littleton Studios in North Carolina, the prints, titled "When Choice isn't Possible", "Forever Unobtainable", "Needing to Make a Change", "She still Dreams of Flying", "There is Healing to be Done" introduced a darker side to the artist's woman-oriented works. A decade after those works where produced, Sigler noted in a 1994 interview that she thought the images in her paintings would change as she changed. In an interview published in Chicago's New Art Examiner, Sigler said that she realized that she would die of breast cancer, this knowledge had changed the way she approached her art. In 1992 she began her series of paintings "Breast Cancer Journal: Walking with the Ghosts of My Grandmothers".

Intensely personal, the vividly colored works portray unpeopled scenes where women's clothing and antique sculptures are surrogates for the artist. Embued with a life of their own, they enact the emotional responses of the artist to her illness; these paintings could be shockingly forthright. In a review of the 1993 exhibition "The Breast Cancer Journal: Walking with the Ghosts of my Grandmothers" at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, journalist Lee Fleming wrote of the content of one painting in particular: The glorious Nike of Samothrace, "Winged Victory," stands in armless profile atop a shallow fiery-hued tumulus not unlike a breast. Red rain falls; the ground inside and outside this red-gray line is littered with discarded contemporary and antique clothes, all of which share a bleeding cutout where one breast would be... The paintings could embody the artist's vision of the spiritual human being triumphing over the ordeal of breast cancer. Lee Fleming cites "To Kiss the Spirits: Now this is What it is Really Like," as an example of a painting that "sums up Sigler's struggle in a glorious apotheosis..."The lower part of the composition shows a night time village of small houses with glowing windows.

A description from the National Museum of Women in the Arts notes that the upper two thirds of the canvas pay homage to Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. At the center of the picture, bathed in celestial light the silhouetted "Lady" rises effortlessly along a fluted staircase, changing color from purple through rose to white as her arms lift upward to become an angel's wings. Sigler's companion of 21 years was the jewelry designer Patricia Locke. In 1978, Sigler became a member of the Columbia College Chicago faculty in the department of Art and Design; as a teacher, she was up to date on issues in contemporary art and had a talent for communicating this knowledge to her students. She was fond of taking her students on field trips to learn first hand about influences in art from the European-based collections at the Art Institute of Chicago to the anthropologically-based exhibits at the Field Museum. Sigler's teaching awards included the College Art Association's Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in early 2001.

Her mature artistic style was faux-naïve, featuring paintings whose subjects and clothing set in doll-house type interiors and suburban landscapes, were stand-ins for the implicitly female figure. You Can't Always Get What You Want, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, is an example of the artist's doll-house interiors painted in a faux-naïve style; the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, the High Museum of Art, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art.