Brexit: Is the Internal Market Bill a 'soft power grab'?

18 Sep 2020

Campaigners warn that devolved nations' cultural policy is at risk amid rumours Creative Europe will be transferred to the Foreign Office.

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.

Architecture prize goes to ENB's new London headquarters

18 Sep 2020

English National Ballet's new £36m HQ in east London has won the AJ100 Building of the Year award 2020, a prize that recognises the best building completed in the past 12 months. Beating off competiton from eight other finalists, Glenn Howells Architects were praised by judges for designing a relatively inexpensive "simple building", that is "unbelievably complex in what it needs to accommodate." The premises include a full-sized theatre space with stage and fly-tower to accommodate full dress rehearsals in-house, rehearsal studios and the administration spaces and facilities needed to support the company’s national touring programme.

New findings to guide audio describers on diversity characteristics

18 Sep 2020

A report examining how diversity characteristics are translated by audio describers has created a "blueprint" for organisations looking to adopt more active policies. The Describing Diversity report has been produced by theatre audio description specialists VocalEyes in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London. It aims to support those wishing to describe the personal characteristics of characters that appear on stage, including the visible, physical markers of race, gender, impairment / disability, age and body shape. The findings will form the basis for developing a common understanding and rationale for any proposed changes to the practice of audio description.

Performers face cost increases for US visas

18 Sep 2020

The Musician's Union's visa taskforce is consulting with key industry bodies to push against "prohibitive cost increases and unfair practice" in relation to US visas. All visa filing fees administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are being increased, but there are also specific plans to limit the number of artists that can be included on a single work authorisation petition to 25. The MU is concerned that large ensembles, including orchestras and theatre companies, will be required to file multiple petitions to cover all their artists.

Dave Webster, Chair of the taskforce said: "As if it isn’t already hard enough for artists to perform in the US, this increase in fees just adds to that. Musicians are faced with great uncertainty right now, so it is important they have all the right information to hand. Some musicians will feel this increase more deeply than others, and it’s certainly a further blow to cultural exchange. However, this increase is only a part of the problem, especially in light of the overall costs and administration placed upon artists when obtaining a visa."

New lease of life for Halifax arts centre

18 Sep 2020

Square Chapel Arts Centre, which went into administration in March, has been taken over by the team at Arts At The Mill. They have formed a new company, Square Chapel CIC, to run the venue.

Arts At The Mill is the umbrella organisation for Wigan organisations The Old Courts, Wigan Pier and The Royal Court Theatre, and has been supported in its take-over by Arts Council England and Calderdale Council. Dave Jenkins, Managing Director, said: "There will be every opportunity to input into the future planning and as new custodians of the arts centre, we are very much ready to listen and support the ambitions of the community, freelancers and artists who have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

Banksy loses copyright case to greeting card manufacturer

18 Sep 2020

A legal battle over copyright of an artwork depicting a masked protester throwing a bouquet of flowers has ended with artist Banksy losing the case to UK card company Full Colour Black. Judges noted that it was difficult for Banksy to exert copyright laws while keeping his true identity a secret.

Manchester ramps up pressure on Minister over Covid fears

18 Sep 2020

Manchester City Council is pressing Culture Minister Caroline Dineage to see for herself the scale of the problems still facing the cultural sector in the city. Their invitation to her follows letters sent in July to the Secretary of State for Culture and Chancellor of the Exchequer asking for additional support for the culture sector in Manchester, to which no direct response was received. Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure, and Skills, said the city's cultrual organisations "need direct intervention and additional support right now to keep them breathing until they’re allowed to open up their doors to audiences again, as well as a proper plan put in place that tells them when they can do this, and under what terms. "

Kettering's ambitions bring £4m investment in culture

18 Sep 2020

A £3m grant from the government’s Get Building fund, topped up from Kettering Borough Council’s reserves and a grant from Northamptonshire County Council, will enable Kettering’s library, museum and art gallery to be repaired, extended and upgraded. The renovation aims to establish the area as the ‘cultural anchor’ for North Northamptonshire, and the Borough has ambitions to "improve these assets and diversify their uses in order to change the way communities access and engage with culture and creative industries", as well as unlocking economic growth through skills development, job creation and boosting the visitor economy.

Nuffield theatre re-born as Southampton promotes City of Culture bid

18 Sep 2020

The Mayflower Theatre Trust is to take over the Studio 144 building in Southampton, formerly home to the Nuffield Theatre which went into administration earlier this year. Southampton City Council is granting £500k over two years and a new 35-year lease to Mayflower Academy Limited, the company created to operate the theatre, which is now named MAST Mayflower Studios. The move coincides with the commercial launch of Southampton's bid for the City of Culture 2025 title, which aims to "finally give people a reason to come to Southampton rather than go through it".

'Bubble of one': Disability arts educators fear exclusions

18 Sep 2020

As schools reopen, the barriers to resuming arts education for disabled children "have been hugely increased".

Covid-19: Arts universities could lose £100m

17 Sep 2020

New analysis indicates an eye-watering financial hit if international student numbers plummet in 2021.

Northern Irish arts at 'brink of devastation'

17 Sep 2020

Organisations are pleading with politicians to urgently release £33m funding that was allocated months ago.

Turner prize winners call on Tate to halt redundancies

16 Sep 2020

An open letter protesting that “multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multilingual workers from low-income backgrounds” are about to be cut out of the arts sector has been signed by 300 artists, including several former Turner prize winners. The letter, in support of  Tate workers who are on strike over the 313 job cuts across Tate Enterprises, is demanding that the organisation uses 10% of the £7m it received from the government to stop redundancies.

Wales to launch £7m freelancer fund

Llangollen International Eisteddfod
16 Sep 2020

A final tranche of Welsh Government emergency funding will be reserved for up to 12,800 creatives - but the Culture Minister says organisations need a "total change of attitude" towards recovery. 

Public floods Ofcom with complaints over Black Lives Matter performance

16 Sep 2020

Dance group Diversity, which won the talent show Britain's Got Talent in 2009, has attracted 15,500 complaints to Ofcom, the communications regulator, for a TV performance based on the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the US. Ofcom told The Guardian: “We are assessing this content against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”

Medway throws its hat into the City of Culture ring

15 Sep 2020

A new website and branding have been unveiled at the launch of Medway's bid to become UK City of Culture 2025. The Medway towns are campaigning for the title with a view to turning green spaces, high streets, stadiums and shopping centres into galleries and theatres to showcase local and national creative talent.The leaders of the bid are inviting local people to 'Back Medway' and have their say on the best way to win the contest.

Train company commissions art in suicide prevention drive

15 Sep 2020

Train operating company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the UK’s biggest rail franchise which operates the Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express services, has unveiled 'Affirmation Art’ clusters across some of its busiest stations to raise awareness of the company’s ongoing support and understanding to those who may be feeling vulnerable. The initiative has been launched to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day.

GTR is the only train operating company to have appointed a Suicide Prevention Manager, and its consumer-facing campaign involes a team of artists spraying motivational messages across station entrances and exits. Manager Laura Campbell said: “It is important to raise awareness of the support that is available to those that may need it and educate the wider community about the complexities inherent in mental health as well as suicide. The Affirmations Art campaign looks to do just that, in a subtle and visual way.”

 

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