2020 festivals: there’s no going back

silhouette of a person looking up at a coloured starry sky
09 Jul 2020

Having flexed our innovation muscles in response to the pandemic, now’s the time to assess what we’ve done and use this knowledge to develop new ways of working on a larger, longer-term scale. The Audience Agency team looks to the future of festivals online.

No community spaces? No community arts

Four people standing on stage in front of a sign saying 'Save Granville'
22 Apr 2020

Community arts organisations are at the heart of the response to the Covid-19 crisis, but their spaces are threatened by arguments that focus on the economic value of the arts. It’s time we started measuring social value, says Zain Dada.

Stay well, supported and creative: our new microsite for Covid-19 updates

Statue with face mask
19 Mar 2020

In uncertain times, ArtsProfessional will be providing regular updates on projects and resources to support wellbeing, careers and creativity in the arts.

Free to speak? Not if you work in the arts

A photo of statues of angels, one with a gag over its mouth
20 Feb 2020

As ArtsProfessional unveils the explosive findings from its recent Freedom of Expression survey, Liz Hill examines the soul of a sector that believes it is owed artistic freedom but doesn’t tolerate freedom of speech within its own ranks.

Head to head: can a toolkit solve the sector’s class problem?

14 Nov 2019

This year Jerwood Arts published a toolkit for cultural organisations, designed to encourage greater socio-economic diversity in the arts. Julie Lomax, Chief Executive of a-n The Artists Information Company, sees it as a starting point for helping solve the sector’s ‘class crisis’ – but arts consultant Chrissie Tiller isn’t so sure.

Life in the arts across Europe

Photo of woman standing by tree stump in snow
27 Mar 2018

Artists from across Europe describe what it’s like to work in their country of origin – from the almost desperate situation for some freelance artists in Spain to the generous support on offer in Arctic Norway.

Being an international in the creative sector

Photo of Concorde
12 Feb 2018

Julie Bécaud, now a researcher at the Scottish Maritime Museum, explains her first steps into the arts in the UK.

Evolve or die: time to think the unthinkable

People queuing for an aquarium amongst membership signs
09 Jul 2020

Covid-19 has only accelerated what was bound to happen in the arts world – the collapse of unsustainable economic models. It’s time to think again about where income comes from - and what we spend it on - says Alice Black.

Storytelling – a different way of evaluating

Team photo from a recreation of the 1966 World Cup
09 Jul 2020

Conventional monitoring and evaluation isn’t always helpful in community settings, but with some creative thinking, it can become a valuable part of the artistic process. Sarah Cassidy explains how a new technique can transform the outcomes.

A better space

Chairs and tables in the atrium at Bristol Old Vic
09 Jul 2020

Covid has given us a chance to imagine a new kind of future for our theatres, but without big goals we will be hostages to fortune rather than agents of change. Alan Dix shares his wish list.

Do we still need record labels?

an RCA record playing on a deck
07 Jul 2020

The costs of making and distributing music have both come down, but streaming income is very low. John Funge examines the financial challenges facing artists trying to promote their own music.

Sustainable development: are you doing your bit?

The Prime Minister and Sir David Attenborough sitting in front a picture of the globe, answering questions from pupils from Barnes Primary School and John Betts Primary School
01 Jul 2020

Light on resources and heavy on challenges – even before Covid-19 – the cultural sector can nonetheless take small, regular actions to support a green and inclusive recovery from the pandemic. Simon Thompson proposes a way forward.

Are qualifications worth it?

'Now Hiring' signpost
01 Jul 2020

Until the arts sector defines its expectations of the learning needed by employees, even aspirational and potentially career-enhancing training will be of limited value to either the individual or institution, says Michelle Wright.

Building online relationships with supporters

Bird's eye view of unoccupied red theatre seating
30 Jun 2020

In the current climate it’s time to adapt digital fundraising strategies and look at how your data can help boost online donations, says Lucy Costelloe.

Facing the future in the digital sphere

30 Jun 2020

Despite the blow the lockdown has dealt to its plans, dreams, ambitions and finances, Tomorrow’s Warriors are managing to think positively about the future. Janine Irons explains how.

Arts and health partners in a post-Covid world

Postcard for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s, I’m Thinking of You campaign
30 Jun 2020

Delivering arts and health services digitally can extend access for some, but others are excluded. Nesta Lloyd-Jones looks at the positive outcomes and future challenges brought about by the lockdown.

“We need collectivity against structural and institutional racism in the cultural sector”

pencil or charcoal-drawn mural
24 Jun 2020

A collective of Black and Asian artists, curators and educators explains how the impenetrable glass ceiling keeps them on the margins – and why public statements promising reviews, reports and diversity panels cut no ice.

Time to let go of protective control

Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues skyline
23 Jun 2020

Given where we now find ourselves, we have few choices but to pool resources and develop new economic and business structures within which the arts will be able to thrive in the future. Anne Bonnar and Hilary Keenlyside propose some fundamental building blocks.

How to tell audiences you’re open for business again

Hand drawn image of two people standing either side of a bear to illustrate the social distance required between two people
23 Jun 2020

Communicating re-opening will be much, much harder than closure, says Kate Fielding-Cox, who proposes four key principles that every venue should bear in mind when preparing to welcome the public back.

Musings of a Covid-weary venue manager

Poole's Lighthouse venue floodlit at night
23 Jun 2020

“Two pigeons in the foyer, a baby seagull falling off the roof and the lager kegs exploding in the heat”: Elspeth McBain tells why she was tempted to just get a straw and forget about her venue’s problems for a while…

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