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.

WNO musicians vote ‘overwhelmingly’ for strike action

production shot of WNO's Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, summer 2024
18 Jul 2024

Welsh National Opera says it is committed to finding a solution for orchestra members that recognises the 'reality' of its financial situation following significant cuts to its public funding.

King's Speech: What's in it for the arts?

King Charles III in parliament
17 Jul 2024

While the Labour government's legislative plans do not feature anything explicitly related to the arts, a number of proposals are likely to have an impact on the sector.

Creative economy skills shortage looms, report warns

17 Jul 2024

Research finds enrolment in creative further education is declining in all parts of the UK, prompting concerns of a future pipeline shortage at a time the creative industries are looking to create more jobs.

Library and museum combine to secure long term future

16 Jul 2024

Powys County Council has announced that Llandrindod library will be housed in the Radnorshire Museum so that the two organisations can share space, resources and staffing.

The council, which approved the disposal of the library's current building earlier this year, said combining the organisations was a positive example of how services can be remodelled to improve outcomes and make longer-term savings.

The move is part of its Sustainable Powys strategy to reevaluate how services are delivered to meet budget pressures and follows a model already adopted in Brecon, Llanidloes and Welshpool.

Councillor Richard Church said: “Our libraries and museums are trusted spaces, free to enter and open to all. Delivering a joint service from one building means we can provide a sustainable and long-term future for both while continuing to deliver and extend the health and wellbeing benefits that libraries and museums can offer.”

“Radnorshire Museum is recognised as one of the country’s most significant tourism assets and brings substantial economic benefits to the town," added Councillor Jake Berriman, "Co-locating Llandrindod library with the museum means opening hours can be increased, encouraging more visitors to the area.

“It is a great opportunity to create a new cultural space in the town whereby people can explore the rich history of Radnorshire, borrow a book, or look at some of our fascinating objects all under one roof.”

Nandy sets out priorities as Culture Secretary

16 Jul 2024

In her first interviews as Culture Secretary, Lisa Nandy has indicated she will work to support arts and culture across the country and said the Labour government is committed to a review of Arts Council England.

Worthing gallery upgrade backed by £500k investment

16 Jul 2024

A 200-year-old art gallery and studio space in Worthing has been awarded around £500,000 to become more accessible and sustainable.

The planned renovation of the Colannade Building will run from mid-2025 to spring 2026 and include roof repairs, a new accessible entrance, solar panels, triple glazing and heat pumps.

The project has received more than £460,000 from Arts Council England and a further £40,000 from Worthing Borough Council.

Originally a library and post office dating from the early 1800s, the Colonnade became a creative hub in 2014 after receiving funding from coastal communities. It features two gallery spaces and 10 occupied studios.

Hazel Edwards, Regional Director for Arts Council England, said: “By enhancing the infrastructure of cultural spaces across the region, we are expanding access to arts, culture, and creative pursuits.

"We are also supporting cultural organisations in becoming more inclusive, reducing their carbon footprint, and enhancing their digital capabilities."

National Lottery Heritage Fund invests £5m in archives

15 Jul 2024

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) has committed to increasing funding fivefold for public access to archives over the next three years. 

The fund has awarded £5m to Archives Revealed, a long-running partnership between The National Archives, the Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

The Archives Revealed project works to make archival collections that represent the lives and perspectives of people across the UK more accessible to the public.

NLHF’s funding will include grants of up to £150,000 for collaborative projects over multiple collections, as well as support for a new skills development programme. The fund says the investment is in line with its Heritage 2033 strategy for investing in the future as well as the present.

“I am delighted that National Lottery funding will support Archives Revealed to unlock many more of these stories right across the UK and safeguard them for future generations,” NLHF Chief Executive Eilish McGuinness said.

Glasgow launches six-year cultural strategy

The Floating Heads by Sophie Cave in the East Court at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
15 Jul 2024

Glasgow’s Culture Strategy 2024-30 sets out the plans to support and promote culture in the city.

Science Museum ends sponsorship with Equinor

15 Jul 2024

The Science Museum has confirmed its sponsorship deal with Norwegian oil and gas producer Equinor has ended.

Equinor had sponsored the museum’s Wonderlab gallery for children since 2016.

In a blog, the museum’s Chair, Sir Tim Laurence, said that “those we partner with must demonstrate that they are moving with sufficient urgency along the transition pathway to meet our aspirations”. 

Emails disclosed to campaign organisation Culture Unstained following a Freedom of Information request show Equinor had been contacted several times after it was concluded that Equinor’s business was not aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, a threshold set by the museum for its corporate sponsors.

In July 2022, the museum’s sponsors were notified of the criteria set by the museum expecting partners to achieve alignment with the Paris 1.5˚ pathway by the end of March 2024.

Culture Unstained Co-Director Chris Garrard called the end of the sponsorship a “seismic shift”. “After years of mounting pressure, the Science Museum has now adopted red lines on climate change which have led to Equinor being dropped,” he said.

The announcement has brought about refreshed calls for the Science Museum to also end its sponsorship ties with oil giant BP and Indian coal mining conglomerate Adani.

“With BP also failing to align its business with Paris Agreement goals and Adani the world’s biggest private producer of coal, the museum must now hold these companies to the same standard and stop promoting their toxic brands,” Garrard added.

LSO renews BMW sponsorship

15 Jul 2024

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) has announced the renewal of its partnership with BMW Group for three more years.

BMW has supported the LSO's BMW Classics concerts peformed in Trafalgar Square for the last 12 years.

The organisation said continuing its partnership with BMW would allow it to reach a new and younger audience and continue its work in east London schools. Supported by the Mayor of London, the annual concert takes the LSO out of the concert hall and right into the heart of London.

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, said the company was  “hugely grateful" to BMW.

"BMW Classics is the highlight of our year and has become an essential part of London’s summer music calendar," said McDowell, "with thousands enjoying great music live in Trafalgar Square and on YouTube."
 
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “The BMW Classics concerts are a firm favourite in the capital’s cultural calendar, bringing fantastic world-class music to Londoners and visitors for free in the heart of central London, as well as showcasing the next generation of talent on stage. I’m proud to be a partner in these events as we build a better London for everyone.”
 
Walter Mertl, member of the Board of Management of BMW added: “The BMW Group has been supporting hundreds of cultural initiatives for more than 50 years. We firmly believe in the power of music and the arts to bring people together and to experience joy.

"We are looking forward to continuing the BMW Classics partnership with exciting, new ideas and Sir Antonio Pappano on the conductor’s podium. We welcome him and look forward to next year’s concert in Trafalgar Square.”

Serota moots early education 'Arts Start' programme

15 Jul 2024

Arts Council England Chair Nicholas Serota says the 'moment of transition' provided by a change of government offers the opportunity to make the case for arts and culture.

Stagetext secures funding for outreach work in the South East

15 Jul 2024

Stagetext, a Colchester-based deaf access charity, has received a £20,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The funding will go towards a community outreach project raising awareness of deaf access to arts and culture in the South East of England.

The project will see Stagetext’s team of ambassadors build relationships with deaf groups and deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing people across the area to spread the word about accessible events.

Stagetext says approximately 4.3 million, or one in three, people in the South East are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and could benefit from captions and subtitles at live events in theatres, museums and other cultural venues.

Melanie Sharpe, CEO of Stagetext, said the charity’s research found 77% of people are in favour of venues offering more deaf accessibility via captioning and live subtitled performances and events to deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing audiences.

“By helping to spread the word about theatre captions and live subtitles for museum talks and tours, we can bring more people to arts and culture,” Sharpe said. “It’s not only transformative for those that are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, but it makes economic sense for the venues too.”

Council 'steps in' to help struggling arts organisations

15 Jul 2024

Taunton Town Council has granted almost £110,000 to help local arts organisations suffering funding difficulties meet their running costs.

The Brewhouse Theatre received £28,940, while the Museum of Somerset got £30,500, and the town's Creative Innovation Centre was awarded £49,500.

The move follows measures by the council to "secure the future of Taunton" following a financial crisis at Somerset Council, increasing its share of council tax and taking on some services previously operated by the county.

Vickie Robbins, Executive Director of Taunton Brewhouse, told BBC Radio Somerset that, without the funding, its Community Learn Programme would have been cut. 

"It's very important to us to keep that going," she said. "With the support of Taunton Town Council, we will be able to keep that going for at least another year, which is great."

Meanwhile, Sam Astill, Executive Director of South West Heritage Trust, which runs the Museum of Somerset, said the "serious chunk of money" would offset some of the museum's challenges.

"It's a grant towards core costs," he said. "That grant will, in turn, help us continue to be able to deliver our programmes for schools, for families and young people, and to deliver exhibitions at the museum, so it's a really important investment to the future of the site."

Councillor Tom Deakin said: "When we took the difficult decision to increase our precept for the 2024/25 financial year, we had in mind the need to ensure that we had funding available to secure the future of Taunton as a prosperous town, considering the financial crisis at Somerset Council."

"With three of the town's key cultural attractions, the Museum of Somerset, The Brewhouse Taunton and the Creative Innovation Centre all telling us through their applications that they were at risk due to lack of funding, it was only right that we stepped in."

ArtsEd head quits after staff relations ‘damaged beyond repair’

The exterior of ArtsEd.
15 Jul 2024

An independent report into allegations of bullying and favouritism at ArtsEd found Principal Julie Spencer had called students 'snakes'.

AHRC suspends grant extension fund

15 Jul 2024

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has paused its Follow-on Fund while it reviews the scheme's aims and contribution to the UK economy. 

Follow-on- Funding offers grants of up to £100,000 for existing AHRC-funded projects to for up to one year. The financing supports “unforeseen knowledge exchange, public engagement, active dissemination and commercialisation activities” that arise during or following the project.

AHRC said the review will assess the scheme's “value for money” and provide “an enhanced evidence base” for how the council is supporting arts and humanities research and innovation.

Its aims include examining the scheme's contribution to the UK economy and society between 2015 and 2024 and how it supports responsive funding for impactful, engaging and diverse arts and humanities.

The review will include interviews with sector-wide stakeholders, in addition to working with previous and current grant holders. Wider engagement with the research community will be announced towards the end of 2024.

While the review is underway, applications will be paused, but those received up until the deadline of round four, closing on 18 July, will be processed.

ACE embarks on arts investment lobbying drive

HM Treasury building in London
12 Jul 2024

Funding body says sector can help Labour government achieve its aim of boosting economic growth if investment is forthcoming.

Council borrows money to fund theatre repairs

12 Jul 2024

Plymouth City Council will borrow nearly £290,000 to pay for repairs to the city's Theatre Royal.

The council, which is the landlord of the building, said the venue needs work to stop water getting through the fly tower and smoke vent roofs, with the costs funded through corporate borrowing.

Chris Penberthy, the council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities, said the theatre was "a cultural powerhouse" that must be kept in good condition.

He said, " As landlords for this important and listed building, we accept that we need to invest in it from time to time to ensure its fit-for-purpose for years to come.

"This building and its staff play a key role in our nighttime economy, in educating and inspiring all ages and in the city’s reputation regionally and nationally."

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