Off the shelf

Photo of schoolchildren looking at books with microscope
04 Oct 2018

As local authority cuts continue to squeeze culture and heritage budgets, libraries offer a way for councils to preserve access to the arts, says Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

The consistency illusion

A child's hand pouring paint into a palette
27 Sep 2018

The arts are important because they matter to us, and any attempts to further justify them lead to an impoverished and less human life, says Carter Gillies.

Doing the impossible

Photo of exterior of Maritime Museum at night
27 Sep 2018

The success of Hull City of Culture shows what can be achieved in the arts when we come together to achieve a common goal. Positivity is key to making change happen, says Phil Batty.

How can cultural districts be democratic?

Photo of nighttime city with white lights on sticks
27 Sep 2018

If cultural districts are to operate sustainably they need to make sure the voices of all stakeholders are heard, says Beatrice Pembroke.

Fostering young talent

Photo of crowd of young people with man raising his arm
20 Sep 2018

Nurturing young people’s talent is a key part of improving diversity in the arts sector, says Jacqueline Haxton.

A kinder commissioning process

Photo of rejection letter with ''No" written across it
20 Sep 2018

It can be brutal to have your work rejected. Tom Harvey has devised a ‘Humane Commissioning Manifesto’ to fight back against insensitive and damaging practices.

Are we misunderstanding cultural democracy?

Street art in Bristol
20 Sep 2018

Has Arts Council England got cultural democracy wrong? Steven Hadley and Eleonora Belfiore argue for a more thorough questioning of existing hierarchies.

Embedding the arts in healthcare

Cartoon image reading 'Let us be your mental dentist'
13 Sep 2018

Clinical psychologist Katherine Taylor explains how Greater Manchester is putting the arts at the heart of its mental health strategy, inspired by Finland’s positive experiences.

Measuring the difference you make

13 Sep 2018

Arts organisations are under growing pressure to demonstrate social impact. Emma Taylor-Collins explains how they can gain robust, high quality evidence to measure their success.

A stage for experimental theatre

Photo of a pregnant woman in a forest
06 Sep 2018

Ovalhouse’s FiRST BiTES programme ensures that it takes the risks necessary for creating diverse and experimental theatre, explains Owen Calvert-Lyons.

Using data to find the right schools

A pupil at a desk holidng a pencil
06 Sep 2018

How can an arts organisation be sure it is working with schools that represent the community? Lucie Fitton and Ashleigh Hibbins suggest combining arts, population and schools data.

Business skills for creators

A hat full of coins on a street
05 Sep 2018

Effectively monetising creative work ensures that artists can continue to do what they love. Ros Gilman offers advice on pricing, marketing and legal issues.

Arts in schools: the end of an era

A school choir sings at a Christmas event
04 Sep 2018

As performance targets squeeze the arts to the margins of the curriculum, only the most courageous of state schools are continuing to provide the bedrock of ongoing opportunities that were available to previous generations. Pauline Tambling charts the decline.

Tackling class discrimination

The slogan "follow your dreams" overwritten with "cancelled"
30 Aug 2018

By taking a robust approach to understanding the social class make-up of the workforce, the cultural sector can address entrenched inequalities. Dave O’Brien suggests a way forward. 

The craft of captioning artworks

Photo of rows of red bricks
30 Aug 2018

If artists want an authentic response to their work, they need to give viewers a way in, argues Eleanor MacFarlane.

Reaching the iPhone generation

Tablets and smart phones offer potential for short video
30 Aug 2018

Arts organisations could be doing a lot to tempt potential audiences with a taster of their work. Steve Wallace explains how video could take more advantage of society’s growing visual literacy.

A future for artist workspaces

People gathered around a table looking at building plans
29 Aug 2018

With artist workspaces under threat from funding cuts, increases in business rates and property development schemes, a new initiative aims to extend their lifespan. Karen Watson explains.

Investing in resilience

Students gathered around a display at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum
28 Aug 2018

How does a dyed-in-the-wool advocate for public subsidy of culture feel about social investment for the arts and cultural sector? Moira Sinclair reflects on what she learned as a committee member of the Arts Impact Fund.

The potential of grassroots culture

People dancing at a Jive Party event in London
19 Jul 2018

Grassroots culture undeniably delivers huge benefits to communities and local economies, but Martin Cox believes it could also resuscitate the funded cultural sector.

A place of sanctuary

Photo of female actor on rooftop with church spire behind
19 Jul 2018

Bolton's Octagon Theatre offers refugees and asylum seekers a warm welcome and opportunities to share their experiences. Deborah Dickinson tells the story.

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