Culture-led funding or funding-led culture?

Silhouette of two people watching a live performance
02 Dec 2020

There is a crucial disconnect between how the sector evaluates the impact of culture and using it to influence policy. It’s time to reset the wheel, say Ben Walmsley and Emma McDowell.

Marrying creativity with community service

Two children eating at a canteen. One has spotted the camera and is giving the photographer side-eye
02 Dec 2020

Covid-19 means cultural institutions must take on their new civic role with as much imagination as possible. Sally Shaw and Firstsite had already embraced the challenge.

More alive than ever before

title confrence call screen with 6 performers working from home and a digital advent calender displayed in the center. A digital clock is counting down from 15.
01 Dec 2020

Despite what you may have heard, theatre isn’t dead. Moving online has made new spaces for creativity and collaboration that won’t close when venues reopen, writes Laura Killeen.

Beyond core audiences: culture’s currency lies in staying current

face masks drying on a washing line
25 Nov 2020

In a constantly changing landscape, the ability to understand and respond to audiences’ changing preferences and behaviours is vital. Anne Torreggiani shares findings from the first wave of The Audience Agency’s COVID-19 Monitor.

Planning in a time of radical uncertainty

Electric sign on a wall with 2 arrows pointing in different directions
25 Nov 2020

In these uncertain times, it’s important to return to our core principles: making the most of the information we have and not being afraid to experiment, explains David Reece.

Stop patronising and pigeonholing young creatives

A group of performers lying on stage distanced from one another
24 Nov 2020

Handing over the reins is a start, but it shouldn’t be an abdication of responsibility. Mentor Suzann McLean and mentee malakai sargeant put each other under the spotlight.

Embracing a sense of slowness

Two volunteers helping paint a shop's fornt doors
24 Nov 2020

Jon Flinn shares what happens when locking down provides the opportunity to reach up and out.

Ruffling the critics' feathers

Protester with a megaphone at a Black Lives Matter march in London
24 Nov 2020

Tajpal Rathore explains why he is creating a home for Black art that is more ambitious, more radical – more itself - free from the White gaze.

Fund us like art depends on it

Man working on his sculpture
18 Nov 2020

Susan Jones says freelance artists carry a unique economic burden that has left them vulnerable to the vicissitudes of Covid-19. An answer lies in a funding model that doesn’t take their livelihoods for granted.

We can’t rebuild if we’re not valued

Two people reading a script
18 Nov 2020

Rishi Sunak said hard hit workforces like the arts may have to retrain to adapt to the new economy. Sara Whybrew counters that the new economy means we must adapt our approach to training.

Getting copyright right

17 Nov 2020

Big brands and advertisers are cottoning on to the marketing potential of street art. What does that mean for the artists? Timothy Watkins unpacks the legal issues.

Access and authenticity need agency

I See You, Urban Projections at Frequency Festival 2019. Photo credit Electric Egg
17 Nov 2020

What the new importance of digital in arts and culture has shown most clearly is that now is the time to reinvent – not reinstate – the sector’s role in society, writes Samantha Lindley.

A new home for cancelled festivals

A storyteller, sat outside on a dusty floor, sharing to a group of listers surrounding them
17 Nov 2020

Lucie Andersen-Wood explains how this year’s festivals have combined oral tradition with broadcasting – and given performers a new home.

How to curate for a global moment

People observing the Go On Being So exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery
12 Nov 2020

The groups least likely to visit a gallery can curate shows the public wants – and that directors would never dream to create, writes James Green.

Why we’re targeting behaviour over buy-in

Statue of a large seagull with a man sitting crossed legged on a bench reading in the background
11 Nov 2020

A culture strategy based on behavioural change isn’t sexy, but it is necessary if Plymouth wants to do more than simply survive, Hannah Harris writes.

Mayflower 400: A tale too important to let go

10 Nov 2020

Adrian Vinken shares how the two biggest developments of 2020 – Black Lives Matter and Covid-19 – have affected commemorations of a brutal story of colonisation.

Why lockdown works for rural arts

Clayhill Arts building. A converted barn in a rural landscape with hay bales in the foreground
10 Nov 2020

Deborah and Michael Parkes say lockdown presents challenges to budding rural artists. It also gives them an abundance of two things they once lacked – connectivity and time.

Developing leadership for South West women

People laying on the floor working collaboratively
10 Nov 2020

Covid-19 has intensified the barriers women face to becoming leaders in the arts, writes Sacha Lee. The most marginalised will be the most important vehicle for change.

What underground club culture can teach traditional venues

Silhouettes of a crowd cast by club lights
05 Nov 2020

A live cultural event is about much more than just the performance, so when Covid-19 closed venues, innovators in the club scene set out to recreate the whole experience. Jack McNeill explains how.

Why the feel-good narratives must end

Someone working with clay. Photographed over their left shoulder
05 Nov 2020

The tendency to overstate impacts through uncritical narratives of success risks undermining the credibility of arguments about why state subsidies for art and culture are necessary, say Leila Jancovich and David Stevenson.


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