Culture& announces Sotheby’s scholarship programme 

20 Mar 2023

A new scholarship programme is set to offer full-tuition scholarships and living expenses support for students from diverse backgrounds studying at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

The Culture Leaders Programme, a joint initiative from arts and culture charity Culture& and Sotheby’s Institute, is the first of its kind in the contemporary art world in the UK.

It will be available to three students from under-represented communities per year from 2023/24 to 2025/26, with the first recipients set to benefit from September.

The scholars must be enrolled on one of the institute’s one-year, full-time Master’s programmes in either contemporary art, art business or fine and decorative art and design.

Each student will also receive a bursary to cover the cost of living in London.

The initiative builds on one of the key recommendations from a 2022 report co-authored by Culture& on ethnic diversity in curatorial roles, which called for specific initiatives that lead to curatorial employment.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Sotheby’s Institute of Art on this ground breaking initiative to nurture the next generation of diverse talent,” Culture& CEO and Artistic Director Dr Errol Francis said.

“Extending the backgrounds of the students who study at this centre of excellence will bring fresh perspectives and creativity into the commercial art sector.”

Sotheby’s Director Dr Jonathan Woolfson added: “We greatly look forward to welcoming a new generation of diverse students into our community. I am confident that in so doing we will be preparing the ground for a new art world of tomorrow.”

Croydon announces Borough of Culture calendar

17 Mar 2023

Croydon has shared its programme of arts and cultural events for its stint as London Borough of Culture.

The timetable will run from April through to March next year, featuring street festivals, dance, music and theatre productions.

It commences on 1 April with Oratorio of Hope at Fairfield Halls, an orchestral commission led by London Mozart Players involving more than 250 of the borough’s young singers and instrumentalists.

The programme has been arranged by This is Croydon, a partnership between residents, cultural groups and the council.

The group says events will focus on grassroots talent, unsung cultural heroes, young people and disability-led productions.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan commented: “Croydon has a rich history of creativity, diversity and talent, and I’m delighted that this will be reflected through a huge range of inspiring art and performances in their year-long programme.” 

“It will be a fantastic example of how culture can inspire and unleash the potential of the next generation as we build a better London for everyone.” 

Croydon’s year of events marks the fourth iteration of the Borough of Culture project. Croydon is taking the torch from Lewisham, which hosted the 2022 edition, following on from Waltham Forest in 2019 and Brent in 2020.

Free safeguarding training for UK dance sector

16 Mar 2023

The national support organisation for dance is offering free safeguading training for the sector.

One Dance UK has partnered with Safer Dance and High Speed Training to provide the online course.

The course has been developed by High Speed Training with former England international footballer Paul Stewart, now Safeguarding Trainer for the English Football League.

The content applies to all physical activity settings and includes contributions from Gary Lineker and Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates.

Dan Raymond of High Speed Training said the safeguarding training "can make a real difference to all those involved".

He added: "We recognise the outstanding work One Dance UK and Safer Dance are doing to encourage the best possible safeguarding standards and we are proud to support these efforts." 

Ofsted emphasises importance of arts education

A school pupil takes part in an art class. she is painting a landscape with trees on a canvas
14 Mar 2023

Ofsted Chief Inspector says the government body recognises the values of arts education, as report underlines decline in provision and guidance for teachers.

Arts education specialists receive £9.6m boost 

13 Mar 2023

The Office for Students (OfS) has awarded £9.6m to 15 specialist higher arts education providers across England to develop their performing arts courses. 

The funding will be made available for academic years 2022-23 to 2026-27 and has been designed to improve teaching and access for contemporary music, drama and dance courses.

It will cover the provision of specialist equipment, development of partnerships with other higher education providers and access to performing arts education for students from underrepresented groups.

Of the 15 recipients, six - the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, BIMM Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, Leeds Conservatoire, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance - have been awarded the highest amount of £1m per annum.

Susan Lapworth, Chief Executive of OfS, said the “OfS’s investment will ensure that current and future generations of students – whatever their background – are able to succeed during their studies and into their careers”.  

“The small size and highly specialised approach of the institutions we are funding play an important role in their educational experience of students, and this funding will ensure they can continue to deliver a high quality experience.”

Workshop to make musical instruments more accessible

09 Mar 2023

A collaborative workshop is planning to make outdoor musical instruments more accessible, particularly to young people who are blind or partially sighted.

The workshop, a collaboration between Percussion Play, the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) and the Amber Trust, will take place at RSBC’s Life Without Limits Centre in London in April, to discover how Percussion Play’s instruments can be improved and made more accessible for vision-impaired children and young people.

The session will be facilitated by Amber Music practitioner Gennie Joy, who will guide children and their families in how to play instruments from Percussion Play, including Babel Drums, Cyclone, Cavatina and Tubular Bells.

Percussion Play hopes the workshop will help it identify the shapes, heights, colours and finishes most beneficial to people with vision impairments.

The instrument manufacturer also hopes to create a new instrument specifically for people who are blind or partially sighted during the collaborative session.

“We are excited to be working with the RSBC and The Amber Trust to discover how we can make our instruments even more inclusive,” said Jody Ashfield, Co-Founder and CEO of Percussion Play.

“Our instruments are designed so everyone can enjoy making music and we hope to improve our current range by engaging with young people who are partially sighted and discover what changes could be made to make them more accessible.”

LAMDA invests in virtual production technology training

an example of virtual production technology. a projector displays a virtual image of a sunset and is being recorded by a video camera. to the right of the picture, a computer displays the same image
09 Mar 2023

The drama school will become one of the first in the UK to offer training in virtual production and motion capture technology following £2m government grant.

National Youth Theatre partners with Netflix on youth access programme

07 Mar 2023

National Youth Theatre has announced IGNITE Your Creativity, a partnership with Netflix that aims to introduce young people to backstage and technical careers in film, TV and theatre.

The programme is designed to offer opportunities to more than 500 young people aged 14 to 25 in South Wales, West Yorkshire and the North East of England in its first year.

“Theatre is one of the great pipelines to TV and film but sadly the pipeline of opportunity for so many young people has been broken for so long,” said Paul Roseby, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of National Youth Theatre.

“Certain parts of the creative industries are growing, but ironically so is the skills gap in production talent. This partnership will help redress the imbalance”.  

The programme is currently recruiting young people in Newport, South Wales, where participants will work with Urban Myth Films and their Newport-based film studios, the Sherman Theatre, National Youth Arts Wales and local community organisations and schools. 

The programme will expand to West Yorkshire and the North East of England later this year, delivering 20 free community and school workshops in each area. It will also offer set and theatre visits and free week-long courses led by industry professionals.

“Our industry has a pronounced absence of socio-economic diversity partly because it’s freelance, which makes it tough for those from less privileged backgrounds to gain a foothold,” said Anne Mensah, Vice President of UK Content at Netflix.

“IGNITE Your Creativity has been designed to raise awareness and aspirations, and build confidence and networks so that young people don’t need to have existing industry connections, live in a big city or have a degree for a career in TV and film.”

Performing arts centre offers free meals for families 

07 Mar 2023

The Courtyard performing arts centre in Hereford has announced a series of Food For Families events that offer families struggling to make ends meet a free hot buffet meal alongside a programme of art activities for children.

Supported by Talk Community Hub’s Winter of Wellbeing fund, the events will run on three consecutive Saturdays, starting on Saturday 11 March..

Activities for children include a scavenger hunt, scheduled for 11 March, create your own seascape on 18 March and animal crafts on March 25.  

The Courtyard, which is serving as a warm space, has been a Talk Community Hub since 2020, when it underwent renovations and upgrades including a new accessible box office and retail area and a new workshop and performance space.

One of a network of hubs across Herefordshire, it offers a place for local people to access information and activities to support their wellbeing and independence.

Mousetrap theatre education charity changes name

02 Mar 2023

A West End theatre education charity is ushering in "a new era" of activity with a name change after 25 years.

Mousetrap Theatre Projects, whose patrons include Hugh Bonneville, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Alison Steadman OBE, will now be known as Go Live Theatre Projects.

Originally formed in 1997, the charity is 'dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through theatre'.  

Chief Executive Susan Whiddington CBE said: "Our name change to Go Live Theatre Projects reflects the important thread that runs through all of our work with schools, families and youth groups – offering young people and families the special opportunity to attend ‘live’ theatre performances.”

Whiddington added that she was “extremely proud of all that our charity has achieved in the last 25 years for disadvantaged young people, those with additional needs and low-income families, working hand in hand with the theatre industry".

As Go Live, the charity will be "staying true to our mission to use the power of theatre to create inspiring experiences and unlock possibilities for young people," Whiddington said.

Young V&A to open in July

02 Mar 2023

A museum designed with and for young people will open in London on 1 July.

Young V&A, in London’s Bethnal Green, is the culmination of a £13m capital project on the site of the former V&A Museum of Childhood, which was east London’s first museum.

The new museum has been designed collaboratively with children under-14s and will showcase more than 2,000 works from the V&A’s collection of art, design and performance.

Gallery spaces feature interactive and hands-on activities, with curated areas designed for babies, teenagers and family-friendly exhibitions.

V&A Director Tristram Hunt commented: “Children and young people have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic and its aftermath, alongside the dramatic fall in creative education in schools. 

“Young V&A is our response: a flagship project investing in creativity with and for young people and their futures. 
“Our plan is to foster Britain’s next generation of artists, thinkers, makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.”

Rising interest in orchestral music driven by young people

Aerial view of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing to a full crowd
01 Mar 2023

Report from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra finds the younger generation is driving a rise in interest in orchestral music, with majority of school children interested in learning an instrument.

How to get ahead in arts management

Orchestra on stage
28 Feb 2023

If you don’t have industry connections, trying to break into the sector can be overwhelming. So, courses that provide work experience are in high demand. Meet Karen Pimbley (course leader) and Annabel Atkins (student). 

Third Angel theatre announces closure

Picture from a show called The Life & Loves of a Nobody, which toured in 2014, in which performers pull on some of the strings suspending white paper butterflies and they all bounce off and fall to the ground.
27 Feb 2023

Theatre company announces intention to close permanently later this year citing loss of Arts Council funding as a 'significant factor'.

Campaign to save 'devalued' arts subjects in schools launches

22 Feb 2023

A new campaign is calling on the government to protect arts and technology subjects in English secondary schools.

Jointly run by the Independent Society of Musicians and the Edge Foundation, #SaveOurSubjects has been launched in response to the dramatic drop in entries for arts subjects and a decline in funding for music, arts and cultural programmes in schools.

The campaign cites figures showing a 40% fall in GCSE arts entries between 2010 and 2022 – a decline largely attributed to the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in 2010.

ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said: "The rate at which music and arts subjects are disappearing from our schools is both staggering and frightening.

"Students deserve to be taught a truly broad and balanced curriculum that gives them the skills for the 21st-century workplace."

The campaign wants the government to review the impact of school accountability measures including the EBacc, and to give students more freedom of choice at GCSE level.

It is also calling for a commitment to the Arts Premium promised in the Conservative Party's 2019 general election manifesto. 

Sheffield's Utopia Theatre launches youth academy

20 Feb 2023

A new theatre initiative in Sheffield hopes to provide opportunities for young people of African and Caribbean heritage in the city.

Utopia Theatre, an ACE National Portfolio Organisation formed in 2012, said its Youth Academy will run performing arts classes and workshops for children and young people aged nine–19, as well as providing mentoring and training in all aspects of theatre.

Using African oral storytelling and performance techniques, the academy will develop performing talent and offer career advice.

Utopia’s founder and director Mojisola Kareem-Elufowoju said this was “a pivotal moment” for the company.

She explained: “The launch of the academy responds to the inequalities and shortage of opportunities for black youths to pursue a career in the arts.

“Utopia Theatre provides a strong role model and has developed community partnerships over the last four years to address issues that affect the black community in Sheffield.

“This is an opportunity for our youth academy members to build their life and creative skills, starting a cycle of learners who are positively impacting each other’s lives.”

Utopia hopes to attract around 100 young people to the scheme. No acting or drama experience is needed to take part.

Free creative careers fairs for young people

08 Feb 2023

Young people considering working in the arts industry are being offered careers advice at two free events in the Midlands this month.

Organised by Shout Out for the Arts, the careers fairs, which will be open to 15-to 25-year-olds, will take place in Stratford-upon-Avon and Nuneaton.

Among the organisations offering careers guidance are BBC Apprentice Hub, Art Reach, Motionhouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, and the SAE Institute.

Arts professionals, artists and writers will also be on hand to answer young people’s questions about a career in the arts.

Event producer Amy Aylward said: “We want to encourage young people in their creative endeavours and to explore how to make a career out of their creativity.”

The events, which are part of a wider programme of activities funded by Arts Connect’s Partnership Investment Fund, take place on the 20 February in Nuneaton and the 23 February in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Apprenticeships in theatre making

A student learns how set and prop designers work at the RSC as part of RSC Next Generation, 2017.
07 Feb 2023

To mark National Apprenticeships Week, Pritti Shoker explores the role of apprenticeships in building a more inclusive, creative and diverse sector.

Bid for creative school in Bradford submitted to DfE

group of children celebrate Bradford winning UK City of Culture. they are jumping up and down, shouting, and holding banners saying 'our time, our place'
06 Feb 2023

Proposals submitted to establish a new school in Bradford offering 16 to 19 year olds specialist creative education.

Council plans to axe arts programme supporting wellbeing

31 Jan 2023

Plans to cut an arts programme and qualification that supports mental wellbeing have been criticised by a concerned parent.

Brighton and Hove City Council hopes to save £48,000 by scrapping the Arts Award scheme in its 2023/24 budget.

But mother Atlanta Cook has challenged the decision, arguing that the impact of lockdown on teenagers makes the programme more needed than ever.

If the council follows through with the cuts, her own daughter will be directly impacted.

Cook said: “We tried to get my daughter into college but haven’t been able to get her to go in. 

“The creative arts are the number one stream where they would get an education. This is it. There is nothing else.”

Cook added that lockdown had been particularly detrimental for teenagers who “had their 15th and 16th birthdays during this nightmare". 

The Arts Award programme can be studied at home and is accessed through the council's wellbeing services.

“It’s the only thing I’ve found in the last two years of trying to get my daughter into college," said Cook.


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