Culture on referral: tackling the elephants in the room

Picture of acrylic paints on a desk
05 Nov 2020

Would we still see the same benefits to wellbeing if we took art and culture out of ‘culture on referral’ programmes and sat people in a room together? Dr Robyn Dowlen uncovers gaps in the evidence base. 

Theatres and AI: the brave new world ahead

Graphic of people on their phones in the theatre
05 Nov 2020

While theatres are in lockdown it’s difficult to look ahead. But Andrew Howard sees technological change as driving a new and better customer experience in the future, and that change is almost upon us. 

How VR could save theatre

A woman leaning to her left, configuring light rigging.
05 Nov 2020

Even during the pandemic, virtual reality can offer a bridge into theatre for digitally curious audiences. Laura Mallows explains how Theatre-in-VR can reach those whose go-to artforms might normally be cinema, gaming or visual art.

Beyond Brexit: Festival UK* 2022

Silhouette of a person in front of a neon pink light display
29 Oct 2020

Festival UK* 2022 is not a ‘celebration of Brexit’ but a celebration of the place we call home, argues Sam Hunt.

The impact of Covid-19 on fundraising: should we tear up the rule book?

Woman in gallery looking at painting
29 Oct 2020

Right now past data is a poor predictor of the future, but understanding the scale and nature of change while responding to issues and initiatives of importance to funders will be vital to future success, say Michelle Wright and Sarah Thelwall.

Speaking with one voice

Rishi Sunak
29 Oct 2020

With freelance workers still living on the brink and campaign groups springing up to lobby for a more equitable future, work is going on behind the scenes to deliver a coordinated response to policy-makers. The Creative Recovery group shares progress so far.

How community projects led the way

A theatre production with actors dressed as an old lady, pidgeon, and two charlie chaplins
29 Oct 2020

A new series of case studies will be reflecting on the impact of the lockdown on communities and the ways Creative People and Places projects adapted to work with them. Caroline Griffin shares the story.

Refusing to be bowed

Vince Laws, Fit For Work!, comic book page spread, 2020 – Not Going Back To Normal
29 Oct 2020

The Scottish government may have put ‘build back better’ on the back burner, but contemporary art has not. Clare Harris celebrates the determination that characterises Scottish artists as they cling on through the pandemic.

How racist are you?

A Black person covering their each eye with their hands, palms facing towards the camera
22 Oct 2020

Unconsicous bias can leave even well-meaning organisations with blind spots on diversity and inclusion. Roxan Kamali-Sarvestani explains what they can do to avoid this – and how Talawa Theatre Company is supporting them.

Taking practical steps on the road to recovery

A table in the foreground with a lamp, menu and 'I have been sanitised' marker with a band on stage in the background
21 Oct 2020

As the four countries of the UK start to offer financial lifelines to venues wanting to reopen, Priya Patel explains how the Arts Working Group and their Recovery Toolkit can provide support with some of the thornier problems they are now addressing.

Agenda for a radical restructuring

20 Oct 2020

The arts can survive, but it’s up to arts workers and participants to save and fundamentally change them for the benefit of all. Trade Unions must not allow a ‘new normal’ of devastated culture says John Gillett.

In it for the long haul

20 Oct 2020

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will be making fewer, larger grants in future and collaborating on longer term projects that have a real chance of being taken to scale. Alison Holdom explains their new strategy and what they hope to achieve.

Turning limitations into possibilities

Lisette, a white woman with freckles and long brown hair, sits behind a wooden table, her hands spread out on its top. She is wearing a brown dress, a top hat and a yellow paper moustache. She is winking. The table is on a pebble beach with a river running behind it. Image credit: Rob Irish.
15 Oct 2020

Disabled freelancers can teach the sector a lot about how to overcome limitations to make and adapt work in new and exciting ways, so look for them, use them … and pay them, says Lisette Auton.

Breaking new ground: how do the arts affect mental health?

Person in balck adidas cap sitting on a bench writing in a notebook
15 Oct 2020

Research into the relationship between culture, health and wellbeing could unlock an understanding of how the mental health of young people can be supported by cultural activity. Dr Robyn Dowlen talks to Anne Torreggiani about progress so far.

Zoom: shows promise but could do better

15 Oct 2020

What would the digital performing arts look like if the arts had their own software platform, responsive to artistic needs? Ron Evans explores the possibilities.

The World’s Largest Arts Fundraising Experiment

15 Oct 2020

‘Following the science’ has revealed some surprising findings in a programme aimed at finding out what really influences individual donors. Bernard Ross shares the outcomes.

New thinking for a new age

Edinburgh Conversations: it's time to redefine culture at local level. This image shows a man playing a saxophone on an Edinburgh street with people walking by
15 Oct 2020

“We must use this time to reset values and make our industry and institutions more relevant for the whole of society.” Janet Archer draws together this summer’s Edinburgh Culture Conversations.

Taking up the evaluation challenge

06 Oct 2020

Practitioners have seen with their own eyes how arts and health interventions can make a real difference to young people’s mental health – but can they prove it to those holding the purse strings? Katherine Taylor explains how a new evaluation framework is promising to help them do just that.

Addressing the weathering effects of racism

Young men sitting in a row on chairs laughing
06 Oct 2020

Birmingham REP has found a formula that is not only strengthening mental health resilience among young Black men, but also tackling the systemic inequalities they face. Samina Beckford tells the story.

Pick-your-own Mindapples

Cardboard apple with 5 midfulness tips written on it
06 Oct 2020

What do you do every day that is good for your mind? Julia Payne shares some 5-a-day ‘Mindapples’ that have been helping artists and creative freelancers nurture their mental health through lockdown and beyond.

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