Creative and commercial

Photo of silk screens
28 Aug 2015

The 2008 crash shook Ali Pretty’s outdoor arts company hard. But after a bold decision to split the organisation in two, it’s now doing better than ever. 

Policies for the people

Photo of girls playing in orchestra
16 Jul 2015

What would our public services look like if we used wellbeing evidence to inform policy-making? There would surely be more room for arts and culture, says Jessica Harris.

Active ageing

Photo of older people dancing
02 Jul 2015

What better place to learn about using the arts to help older people and those with dementia than in Japan, where a quarter of people are over 65. Nick Ponsillo reports on his recent trip.

A hospital with a soul

Photo or artwork in hospital
18 Jun 2015

A public art programme at Southmead Hospital in Bristol has breathed soul into the hospital building and created a sense of community, says Gillian Taylor.

A real role in rehearsals

Photo of rehearsal
11 Jun 2015

Fifteen members of the public invited to take part in the rehearsal of a playlet will be actively involved in the direction, choreography and lighting. Emma Smith discusses what she hopes it will achieve.

Art in everyday life

Image of performance on Harris Steps
11 Jun 2015

Artist-led and community-focused projects are key to placemaking, says Susan Jones. Just look at Preston, where the In Certain Places programme has been doing it for 12 years.

What is community theatre?

Photo of balloon drop
19 May 2015

Isn’t all theatre ‘community’ theatre, asks Sara Clifford as she explores why so many people write it off as just amateur, worthy and poor quality.

On the high and low roads

Photo of van on quayside
07 May 2015

Roberta Doyle explains why Scotland’s theatre company ‘without walls’ tours the highlands and islands of Scotland.

Who are the commissioners?

Photo of people in meeting
30 Apr 2015

Linden Rowley explores who the commissioners of public services are, where to find them and how arts and cultural organisations can best talk to them.

A huge part of the story

Photo of volunteers with biscuits
16 Apr 2015

London Bubble offers a wide variety of volunteering opportunities, but it’s not just about one-off opportunities, explains Lucy Bradshaw – they’re in it for the long haul.

Sparking an initial interest

Photo of Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
16 Apr 2015

Regularly volunteering in both front of house and backstage roles has given many students their initial interest in the arts, according to Katherine Edwardes.

In the spirit of London 2012

Photo of Big Big Sing singers
16 Apr 2015

Volunteers are now at the heart of a national programme to improve wellbeing and social cohesion, says Penny East.

Arts support by London councils falters

Photo of an aerial performance
20 Mar 2015

Cuts and restructures have damaged relationships between arts organisations and local authorities, with community organisations and artists finding support harder to come by. 

Social investment fund backs the arts

Photo of a youth circus performance
11 Mar 2015

A new team of investors is offering unsecured loan finance to arts organisations who can demonstrate social, artistic and financial returns.

Cohesion or conflict

Image of Ann Webb in front of poster
19 Feb 2015

Frances Williams says it’s time to drop the false optimism surrounding arts projects in areas of social deprivation and take a more critical view. 

Millions of conversations

Image of Macbeth poster
09 Feb 2015

How relevant is outreach marketing in a world of digital communications? Hardish Virk believes there is still a place for talking to people on the street.

Bottom of the food chain

Image of heron in street
05 Feb 2015

Bev Adams accuses funding assessors of ‘project snobbery’ and favouring venue-based organisations over artists working in the community.

When the cold, hard cash runs out

Image of filming of 'traceurs' in Westminster
02 Feb 2015

Guy Nicholson shares his views on the changing role of local government in supporting London’s arts and culture.

Legal advice for free

Photo of Peckham Platform
05 Jan 2015

Russell King describes how, through the Lawyers Volunteering for the Arts scheme, he has helped Peckham Platform establish itself as an independent charity and transformed himself from a visual arts philistine.

Getting the play on the stage

Image of performance of Boro’s 37 mins
25 Nov 2014

What does it take to be a playwright in the community? Alan Spence reflects on the highs and lows of writing plays for community groups over the last 25 years.

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