The value of live theatre

Photo of young people watching woman on stage
20 Apr 2017

As drama is downgraded in our schools, Fiona Banks explains why it is essential for young people to see theatre live on stage.

In times of conflict

Photo of woman in red shador with banner 'Nasty Woman'
06 Apr 2017

Art can ask difficult questions and help people engage with complex topics. With conflict and political divisions spreading across the globe, it’s vital arts producers find new ways to bring people together, says Daniel Gorman.

An inconvenient truth

Underground station platform showing words 'mind the gap'
28 Mar 2017

Joe Hallgarten proposes a new solution to the uncomfortable fact that attendance at taxpayer-subsidised arts events remains stubbornly skewed by social class.

Why Quality Metrics is a really bad idea

Production shot: woman bound by nurses
24 Feb 2017

Liz Hill tells NPOs, ‘just say no’ to a fundamentally flawed scheme that will reveal more about the nature of the audience than the quality of an arts organisation’s artistic work. 

Reflecting the world

Photo of audience watching performance
09 Feb 2017

No wonder there is so much talk about the death of opera when people are excluded from it all the time, says Bill Bankes-Jones. But are attitudes finally starting to change?

Unlocking cultural potential

Glass Skyscraper
02 Feb 2017

UK cities must be granted freedoms to attract inward investment and build the country’s reputation as a creative powerhouse, or risk being left behind, argues Councillor Phil Bale.

Calm consideration

Photo of Simon Rattle conducting
26 Jan 2017

As the debate over whether London needs a new concert hall becomes more divisive, Jodi Myers says it’s time for some careful thought.

Still dismal times for disability

Photo of disabled sign in paint tub
08 Dec 2016

Angry at the continuing discrimination against disabled people as well as the inadequate access in many venues, Andrew Miller reflects on the challenges disabled people need to overcome to make it in the arts.

A mental makeover for classical music

Photo of concert from audience
24 Nov 2016

Tired of seeing classical music magazines filled with middle-aged white faces, James Fleury proposes four ‘mental makeovers’ that could help increase diversity in the sector. 

What does a Trump presidency mean for the arts?

Photo of two dancers
24 Nov 2016

Will Donald Trump, a liberal arts graduate, be enamoured by an industry with an envious return on investment? Or will his government continue a history of half-hearted federal support, asks Craig W Johnson.

Bursting some bubbles

17 Nov 2016

At Spektrix’s annual conference Vikki Heywood explored the mindsets and mythologies that influence the performing arts today.

The subtle art of community engagement

Photo of people rehearsing a dance in mobility scooters
03 Nov 2016

Working in local authority arts development was where Martin Cox learned to listen, understand and value people as much as he valued artistic outcomes. He shares his views on audience development.

Process is vital to excellence in community arts, says report

Creative People and Places image
30 Sep 2016

The Creative People and Places scheme should prompt new thinking about the role of communities in delivering arts programmes in areas of least engagement, according to a new study.

To those angry at me

Photo of conference panel
28 Sep 2016

Adam Taylor, an organiser of the NewHorizons16 conference on diversity and inclusion, responds to one of the day’s themes: opportunities are not open to everyone in the arts because white, middle-class, middle-aged men stand in the way.

Metrics to measure arts quality? The sector speaks out

Graphic of man with megaphone
22 Sep 2016

Following AP’s coverage of Arts Council England’s plans to impose a standardised system for measuring artistic quality on its National Portfolio Organisations, hundreds of artists, academics, arts professionals and other commentators across the world have taken to Twitter to share their views. The overwhelming majority are not impressed, as shown in this small but representative selection of comments…

The reluctant mutant

Photo of Inua Ellams peforming
08 Sep 2016

He’s been called Nigerian, Black British and oyinbo, but Inua Ellams just feels normal. He calls for the destruction of ‘othering’ classifications.

Turning back the clock?

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn
01 Sep 2016

Will Jeremy Corbyn’s promise to “restore” Grant in Aid to the arts councils help reinforce Labour’s reputation as a supporter of the arts? Liz Hill has her doubts.

Who’s afraid of Manchester?

Photo of HOME cafe
21 Jul 2016

The Northern Powerhouse plans may be turning Manchester into a cultural tour de force, but it will be a force that benefits the whole sector, argues Dave Moutrey.

Exposing ethical questions

Face-painted man with sign: 'Celebrating the dead, silencing the living'
07 Jul 2016

Following revelations that BP influenced curatorial decisions at the British Museum, Chris Garrard examines how arts organisations should be navigating the tricky ethical territory of sponsorship.

Sustaining a democratic and caring society

Photo of kids in a drama class
07 Jul 2016

The EBacc debate in Westminster prompts Patrycja Kaszynska to reflect on the role of the arts as a force for political and civic engagement.

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