Arts Council England 'confident' ahead of Spending Review

21 Oct 2021

Internal documents show the funder transferred millions from its primary funding streams to bolster the Culture Recovery Fund and support creatives through the pandemic.

UNBOXED 2022 offers innovation - and employment

21 Oct 2021

Once derided as the Festival of Brexit, the eight-month mega event will "prove the naysayers wrong".

Local authorities' culture offer hinges on Spending Review

14 Oct 2021

Councils call for an extra £400,000 funding for arts and culture as venues in smaller authorities face life-threatening cuts.

City of Culture 2025 a 'springboard' regardless of longlist

11 Oct 2021

The challenge now for some of the latecomers will be completing years' worth of planning in weeks.

Europe-wide project aims to create network of minority theatres

04 May 2017

(IN CROATIAN) Five minority theatres in Romania, Italy, Serbia, Albania and Croatia will combine to produce a play and a series of workshops in Spring 2018 using European Union funding.

New York opera security scare after powder sprinkled into orchestra pit

31 Oct 2016

The Metropolitan Opera cancelled a performance during the interval as a safety precaution after somebody sprinkled an unknown powder into the pit.

Library scoops £3,000 in the National Lottery Awards

25 Aug 2016

St Helens Libraries’ Cultural Hubs attracted over 2,000 votes to be named Best Arts Project for its work promoting health and wellbeing.

Stories of racism at the Barbican 'ring true', Gompertz says

25 Oct 2021

Stories of institutional racism at the Barbican Centre "ring true to me", Will Gompertz has said.

The Interim Managing Director, promoted following Nicholas Kenyon's resignation in June, told The Times he'd heard similar accounts to those published in Barbican Stories during his time at the BBC.

“It’s been clear to me for years that the subsidised arts didn’t really reflect the communities they said they were serving. I did several reports for the BBC on that and spoke to practitioners of colour who said the game was rigged.

"The arts have been too slow to respond to how the world is changing, too slow to open up and include. They have been good at the rhetoric but not good at the delivery.”

Gompertz is now charged with making that change at the Barbican. He rejected reports of a toxic atmosphere causing mass resignations in recent months.

"The Barbican is full of dedicated staff who care deeply about the place.”

A review into the centre's culture and practices is under way.

Thousands support art funds for young people petition

25 Oct 2021

A petition urging the Government to keep manifesto promises around arts funding for young people has received more than 20,000 signatures online.

The petition comes ahead of Wednesday’s (October 27) Spending Review, which is expected to answer questions surrounding a £270m arts premium for secondary schools first promised in March 2020, and Arts Council England's budget.

Former Schools Minister Nick Gibb said last month that £90m of arts-in-schools funding earmarked for 2021 was under review.

Petition leaders Public Campaign for the Arts are also asking the Government to move ahead on a promised £500m Youth Investment Fund.

The group says youth centres and services facing mounting financial pressures are still waiting to receive any of the fund, first promised in 2019.

Robot artist released for exhibition after detainment

25 Oct 2021

British robot artist Ai-Da has opened an exhibition and sculpture trail at Egypt’s pyramids after being held up at the country's border for 10 days.

The world’s first artificially intelligent humanoid robot was detained by Egyptian authorities on suspicion of espionage, with officials concerned about the robot’s modem and eye cameras.

“The whole situation is ironic, because the goal of Ai-Da was to highlight and warn of the abuse of technological development, and she’s being held because she is technology,” creator Aidan Meller commented.
 
The Forever Is Now exhibition features Ai-Da’s Immortal Riddle, a two-metre-tall self portrait sculpture of a mummified robot in a sarcophagus.

Running until November 7, the exhibition is the first art show to take place at the Pyramids of Egypt.

Khan invests £1m to diversify London’s public spaces

21 Oct 2021

A new fund to improve the diversity of London’s public spaces has been announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Untold Stories will offer community-led organisations between £1,000 and £25,000 to develop new murals, street art, street names and programmes.

Recent research into London’s sculptures found huge gaps in representation. More than a fifth of London's statues are dedicated to named men, whilst only 4% are dedicated to named women. Just three of almost 1500 public monuments depict named women of colour.

Khan said London’s statues, street names and buildings have shown a limited perspective of the city’s history for “far too long”.

“I’m determined to do everything I can to ensure our public realm presents a more complete picture of everyone who has made London the incredible city it is today.”

Untold Stories opened its first application round Thursday (October 21), with a deadline of January 12.

Question marks over festival insurance scheme

21 Oct 2021

Event organisers say they have been unable to obtain quotes for the Government's Live Events Reinsurance Scheme. 

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) Chief Executive Paul Reed confirmed cover does not stretch to festivals that cancel if capacity restrictions are reintroduced.

"The scheme only covers you in the event of a civil authority shutdown at either local or national level, so it is extremely limited in scope."

The £750m scheme also doesn't cover artists or workforces scheduled for cancelled festivals.

A recent study found 58% of AIF members are not likely to pursue quotes for the scheme.

"They [the Government] want far too much money and there are too many caveats in it," Reed added.

"I think they just keep paying us lip service like they have done all the way down the line."

Science Museum slammed over 'reckless' sponsorship deal

21 Oct 2021

The museum has relied on a technicality to sidestep its own standards for corporate partnerships.

Over a third of music industry jobs lost in 2020

20 Oct 2021

69,000 music jobs – one in three of the total workforce – were lost last year due to Covid-19, UK Music’s annual report into the music industry has revealed.

The industry’s economic contribution to the UK fell by 46%, largely due to the cancellation of festivals and live music events.

The report also notes that in a sector where three-quarters are self-employed, many workers were not covered by income support schemes.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is calling on the Government to implement tax incentives for the industry and boost funding for music education and the self-employed.

"In a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry.

"With the right support, the UK music industry can help drive the post-pandemic recovery."

Manchester’s Factory to open in 2023 after delays

construction of the Factory
20 Oct 2021

The £186m arts complex continues to make a “strong strategic case” with a revised business case and new training programme.

CMA to assess music streaming market

20 Oct 2021

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a study into the UK’s music streaming market.

The watchdog will probe the dominance of major record labels and music streaming platforms including Spotify to assess whether artists are getting a fair deal.

Streaming now accounts for more than four-fifths of UK music consumption, according to the BPI.

CMA's annoucement follows its ongoing investigation into Sony Music’s recent merger, which raised concerns of a “a substantial lessening of competition”, and a DCMS Committee inquiry into streaming's effect on artists.

The decision was welcomed by Committee Chair Julian Knight, who has previously supported calls for an official investigation.

“Our investigation exposed fundamental problems within the structure of the music industry itself. This action marks a key step forward.”

White-led Chinese art gallery seeks new director

19 Oct 2021

Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) is recruiting a new director following the resignation of Zoe Dunbar, its director of seven years.

Recruitment for a new Community Development and Engagement Manager and new trustees is also under way.

In September, the art gallery said it would set targets for staff and board members of Chinese heritage after facing accusations of “organisational yellowface”.

The announcement came after a working group contracted to address the allegations disbanded before final recommendations were submitted, citing racist attitudes at board level.

The organisation's interim director, Thanh Sinden, is of East Asian descent.

Current Chair of the Board of Trustees Nick Buckley Wood said the centre has been through a “difficult” time.

“But we have learned vital lessons that will prepare us for a much stronger future. I am looking forward to bringing new trustees on board as we prepare to open to the public next year.”

LGBTIQ+ development programme reopens

19 Oct 2021

Brighton's Malborough Productions has opened applications to the fourth year of its New Queers on the Block development programme.

The programme will award three LGBTIQ+ performing artists £12,500 each, funding full-time residencies from January to June next year without the expectation of delivering a show or fixed outcome at the end.

Project alumni have worked across live art, theatre, dance, cabaret, film, spoken word and visual art.

Malborough Productions Creative Director Tarik Elmoutawakil and Executive Director David Sheppeard say the programme focuses on community engagement to "sow the seeds of a cultural and community-centred revolution".

Applications are open until November 4, with more information available on the programme website.

Design chosen for National Windrush Monument

19 Oct 2021

The Windrush Commemoration Committee has selected Basil Watson’s design to stand as the National Windrush Monument.

Watson’s entry, chosen from a shortlist of four, depicts a man, woman and child climbing a mountain of suitcases hand-in-hand to demonstrate "the inseparable bond of the Windrush pioneers".

The committee said it received the most positive feedback from online survey and focus groups.

"I look forward to bringing my design to life, because I know how much this means to the Windrush community," said Watson, whose parents were part of the Windrush generation.

The monument, which will stand at London Waterloo station, is expected to be unveiled on Windrush Day 2022 (June 22).

Essex to launch local arts recovery fund

19 Oct 2021

Essex County Council will launch a local Arts and Cultural Recovery Fund next month.

The fund is geared towards recovery and development post-pandemic, benefitting organisations that support artistic and cultural work.

Graham Butland, the council’s cabinet minister for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture, has not revealed the size of the fund but said it is “significant”.

He confirmed a key focus will be supporting small grassroots organisations.

“The arts is something the county council left the stage a few years ago and we want to back in there.”

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