From chip shop to theatre lab

A diverse group of people gathering for a show at the Shop Front Theatre
13 Feb 2020

Creating a theatre inside an empty shop challenges top down hierarchical systems and provides a safe space for conversations, says Julia Negus.

Birmingham must embrace its Heavy Metal heritage

A photo of rows of T shirts with Heavy Metal logos
13 Feb 2020

Regeneration is all very well – but it is only through celebrating its authentic working class culture that the city can discover a beating heart and soul, says Lisa Meyer.

Creative wellbeing for the Windrush generation

A close up photo of a persons' hands resting on a pink handbag
13 Feb 2020

Pauline Bailey looks back on a project that developed social confidence and artistic expression among Birmingham's BAME elders.

Please don’t turn our libraries into trendy arts hubs

A photo of three men playing in a band
30 Jan 2020

ACE is right to focus on libraries in its new strategy, says Hassan Vawda – but it must put communities at the heart of its plans to revive them.

Can libraries deliver culture for all? ACE’s new strategy unveiled

A photo of a man dressed as a First World War Soldier
27 Jan 2020

Children, young people and libraries are central to the funder’s ambitions to enable everyone to benefit from creative and cultural opportunities.

Who's afraid of contemporary art?

'Snow White: Reimagined' performed by Collective31
23 Jan 2020

If we think of contemporary art as only suitable for experienced audiences, we are missing huge opportunities to inspire newcomers, says Naomi Wright.

Why great customer service isn't enough

A photo of a man and a woman laughing in an auditorium
16 Jan 2020

It’s time we all started thinking of ourselves as experience makers. Lasting memories and positive emotions can be created at every point of contact with audiences, writes Lucy Costelloe.

Home is where the art is

02 Jan 2020

Toma McCullim, artist in residence in Skibbereen’s Ludgate Hub, describes a project reconnecting diaspora and reinventing tradition through innovative storytelling.

A truly national theatre? Exploring new ways to collaborate

A photo of a young man on a stage leaning against another actor
05 Dec 2019

National Theatre partnerships with theatres around the country are creating an opportunity for them to share and compare experiences and ideas across a mix of scales, locations and financial models. Lisa Burger explains what’s going on.

City of Culture ‘changed Hull’s image for the better’

28 Nov 2019

An evaluation says the programme brought “profound but somewhat fragile” changes to Hull’s economy, community and cultural sector.

Does 'Pay What You Can' pay off?

21 Nov 2019

As new customers are more likely to buy high price tickets than existing customers, can we expect Pay What You Can schemes to develop new audiences? Debbie Richards examines the evidence. 

We need more welfare funding of the arts – literally

19 Nov 2019

If the arts sector really has faith in everyday creativity, it should put its money where its mouth is, writes Jonathan Knott.

What do we really know about audience privilege?

A photo of a ballet performance
18 Nov 2019

Research suggests that people living in ‘more deprived’ areas are less likely to engage with cultural activity. But is that true across the board, or are there different patterns between – and within – different art forms? Mark Taylor digs deep to find out. 

Brent 2020 promises to ‘challenge definitions of culture’

14 Nov 2019

The Chief Executive of the London Borough’s Council said the year-long programme would examine the relationship between power and people and celebrate migration.

Can you quantify class?

A picture of four people's hands holding mobile devices
14 Nov 2019

Asking questions about someone’s social class may feel uncomfortable, but people are less sensitive than you might think. Maya Sharma and Dan Cowley explain why it’s important to tackle the subject head on – and how to go about it.

Changing the narrative in East Leeds

A photo of the Chapel FM building in a former church
14 Nov 2019

It’s been five years since Heads Together opened Chapel FM in East Leeds. Linda Strudwick looks at what can be achieved from running an arts centre in the middle of a disadvantaged community.

‘Better evidence’ needed on immersive technology

11 Nov 2019

A study warns that “debates about authenticity, re-creation and fakery are amplified by digital technologies”.

Celebrating local excellence

07 Nov 2019

We spend too much time trying to learn lessons from cities and apply them in other places, argues Brendan Keaney. It’s time to recognise that creative powerhouses can come in all shapes and sizes – and not always where you might expect.

Millions more visit major museums

Photo of Terracotta Warriors
28 Oct 2019

Several museums and galleries have recorded their highest visitor numbers in a decade – leading DCMS to claim it was a “record breaking year for museums and galleries in England”.

Is diverse leadership really welcome in the arts?

A photo of the Royal Festival Hall in London
25 Oct 2019

Madani Younis' exit from Southbank Centre exposes uncomfortable truths about the arts sector's attitude to workforce diversity, says Amanda Parker.

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