Plans for West Yorkshire cultural quarter

26 Mar 2019

Kirklees Council has bid for £25m from the Government to invest in a new “vibrant cultural quarter”. The funds would come on top of a pledged investment of £45m into arts and leisure across the borough – including a £13m leisure centre and £200k for ‘town and village champions’. 

Sackler Trust pauses grant giving in UK

25 Mar 2019

The Trust denies claims that the wealth of the Sackler family is linked to the opioid crisis in the US, but says the issue has become a distraction for institutions applying for grants. In the past week, a planned £1m donation from the Trust to the National Portrait Gallery was cancelled, and the Tate group of galleries made clear it would no longer accept grants from the organisation.

Serpentine Pavilion architect in unpaid interns controversy

25 Mar 2019

Junya Ishigami + Associates, which has been chosen by London’s Serpentine Gallery for its annual pavilion programme this year, has been accused of using unpaid interns in its studio in Japan. The Architects’ Journal (AJ) reports seeing an email from the practice to a student interested in an internship stating the position would be unpaid, with hours of 11am to midnight, six days a week. The student told the AJ that the proposed terms were "ridiculous".

Music teachers on course to gain workers’ rights

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22 Mar 2019

Music teachers should be treated as ‘workers’ and provided with holiday pay, national minimum wage and whistle-blower protections, according to a new tribunal ruling.

Tate says Sackler family donations off the table

22 Mar 2019

The Tate group of galleries – including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool – has said that although the Sackler family has “given generously” to Tate in the past, it does not “think it right” to seek or accept further donations from the Sacklers “in the present circumstances”. The Sackler family owns the US maker of OxyContin, a prescription painkiller linked heavily to the opioid crisis sweeping the US. 

The announcement follows a decision earlier this week by the National Portrait Gallery and the Sackler Trust to not proceed with a £1m donation

Five projects to lead £5m performing arts skills programme

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22 Mar 2019

Croydon, Plymouth, Derby, Salford and Medway are to share government funding to teach children on- and off-stage skills to improve self-esteem and confidence.

London Mayor releases seven-point plan to protect cultural infrastructure

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22 Mar 2019

A new toolkit includes guidance of what to do if cultural businesses are at risk of closure, and how to repurpose buildings for cultural use. 

Hull train station to trial classical music to ‘improve behaviour’

22 Mar 2019

Following reported success in a trial at Cleethorpes station, in which playing classical music over the speakers “scared off” troublemakers and saw complaints of antisocial behaviour fall by 75%, TransPennine Express has expanded its scheme to Hull train station. The move follows a heavily criticised plan by Germany’s national train operator to play atonal music in stations to ward off drug use, which representative bodies said would only worsen noise in stations. 

Plans to transform Wigan Pier into cultural quarter move forwards

22 Mar 2019

Ambitions to convert three derelict former industrial buildings on the pier – The Warehouse, The Orwell public house and the Education Centre – into a multi-leisure destination are closer to being realised with the announcement that the Old Courts arts centre will be the main tenant of the regenerated site. A planning application outlining timescales for the project will be submitted to the town hall in the coming weeks.

Portsmouth backs new cultural strategy group to access extra arts funding

22 Mar 2019

Art Council England, Portsmouth City Council and the area’s Victorious Festival have provided a total of £300k to set up a new group of culture professionals, Portsmouth Creates. The group will devise a new cultural strategy for the city and coordinate new cultural projects, such as a bid to become the UK’s next City of Culture.

Cheshire arts venue set for major revamp

22 Mar 2019

Ellesmere Port’s Whitby Hall, a 15-roomed Victorian house in which Action Transport Theatre is based, will begin a £4.8m renovation after proposals were approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council. The project – to be delivered in partnership with the design and construction team that delivered the Storyhouse project – will upgrade the foyer and café areas, and add a new studio and workshop space.

Scotland to assess future of arts funding

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21 Mar 2019

An inquiry led by members of the Scottish Parliament will examine public and private sources of revenues for artists and focus on how funding should be distributed to create a sustainable future for the sector.

Artists must ‘tell the truth’ about the climate emergency

Extinction Rebellion campaign sticker
21 Mar 2019

Royal Court Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and National Theatre Wales are among the organisations calling for a creative response to the looming ecological crisis.

National Portrait Gallery and £1m donation from Sackler Trust

21 Mar 2019

A mutual agreement “not to proceed at this time with a £1m gift” follows growing controversy about the medical impact of OxyContin, a painkiller linked to the opioid crisis said to be killing 100 people a day in America.       

Actor playing LGBT+ character under fire for anti-gay post

21 Mar 2019

Seyi Omooba, cast as a bisexual character in the upcoming musical production of The Color Purple at The Birmingham Hippodrome and Curve Leicester, has been criticised for a Facebook post from 2014 that said she did not believe homosexuality is right or “that you can be born gay”.

Opera stars praise rise of ‘panto booing’

21 Mar 2019

The increased willingness to ‘boo’ villainous characters, instead of poor performers, is a sign that new audiences have increased enthusiasm for the artform, according to opera singers and directors.

Theatre in Soho to be reopened following refurbishment

21 Mar 2019

The Boulevard Theatre, previously a nightclub and venue for alternative comedy acts including Eddie Izzard and Jennifer Saunders, is to be reopened in October. It will include an independently revolving balcony and stalls, and a two-storey glass bridge.

Warning that Edinburgh is gripped by ‘overtourism’ crisis

21 Mar 2019

The creator of the Hogmanay celebrations in the city, Peter Irvine, said Edinburgh’s “overtourism” crisis is comparable to Barcelona and Venice, and that parts of the Royal Mile have become “impassable” during peak periods.

New network to help black artists collaborate

21 Mar 2019

Make Online, a website set up by Talawa Theatre Company, aims to help black artists at all stages of their careers share commissions, castings, job postings and events with peers and the wider industry.

MPs urge music industry to invest in grassroots talent

Photo of Ben Lovett
21 Mar 2019

A parliamentary inquiry has also taken the unusual step of warning the public not to purchase tickets from re-seller Viagogo, which it says has caused distress to “too many music fans”.


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