Culture will play a defining role in Scotland’s recovery, says Advisory Group

Internal view of the Scottish Parliament
24 Jun 2020

Creating a National Arts Force of freelance and gig economy workers to work in schools, care homes and communities is among recommendations to the Scottish Government for the preservation of jobs and recovery in the creative sector.

Cautious re-start for museums, galleries and cinemas

Tate Modern taken from inside the hall
24 Jun 2020

The Government is encouraging the sector to welcome the public back, but museum directors warn that “permission to reopen does not resolve the huge issues currently facing the sector”.

Time to let go of protective control

Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues skyline
23 Jun 2020

Given where we now find ourselves, we have few choices but to pool resources and develop new economic and business structures within which the arts will be able to thrive in the future. Anne Bonnar and Hilary Keenlyside propose some fundamental building blocks.

How to tell audiences you’re open for business again

Hand drawn image of two people standing either side of a bear to illustrate the social distance required between two people
23 Jun 2020

Communicating re-opening will be much, much harder than closure, says Kate Fielding-Cox, who proposes four key principles that every venue should bear in mind when preparing to welcome the public back.

Trapped in the status quo?

Statue in a park
21 Jun 2020

“Radical, representative reinvention” is the only moral choice for the sector now, says Richard Watts, who examines what’s locking us in – and what might help the sector break free from its unfair, unequal and excluding norms.

£32m funding shortfall as demand for ACE funds outstrips supply

a word cloud image featuring phrases such as savings, emergency fund, 3 to 6 months, safety net and others
19 Jun 2020

Two-thirds of organisations and almost three quarters of individuals who applied to Arts Council England for emergency funds were successful, but 4,000 applicants were left disappointed.

Positive outcomes are emerging from online music teaching, survey finds

a young male learning acoustic guitar from a female
17 Jun 2020

Lockdown is transforming the way music teachers deliver instrument tuition now and in the future, with 87% currently adapting their lessons for delivery online.

The many roads to recovery

mono photograph showing an aerial view of a road network taken at night with cars visible on the carriageways
17 Jun 2020

As we emerge from the chaos of the pandemic let’s focus on where we want to go, but remember there’s no single way to get there, says David Reece.

Artists on the front line

Stopgap Dance Company performing outside at the Watch This Space Festival, National Theatre
17 Jun 2020

Outdoor Arts producers and artists are experienced at turning the most unpromising setting into a performance space, and their back-catalogue of shows is tailored for the outdoor. Could they be the first to woo back audiences in a socially distanced world? Angus MacKechnie looks ahead.

When the festivals fell silent

screenprinting a poster which says "There is power in the unity of humanity"
17 Jun 2020

Familiar voices may be muted this year, but some have found new ways to communicate with their audiences, and to reach new ones. Michael Eades asks some fundamental questions about the future for festivals.

Artful leadership against a clever virus

group of street-drummers marching for Juba do Leão - Handmade 2018
17 Jun 2020

As we move from the immediate crisis towards new ones, we need atypical thinkers, agile doers and creative problem-solvers who thrive in unknowns, says Kai Syng Tan. She and Tom Northey explore examples of ‘Artful Leadership’.

Scottish Government announces financial life raft for Edinburgh Fringe

a group of costumed street performers at Edinburgh Fringe
16 Jun 2020

Scotland appears to be the first country in the UK to make a direct Government loan to ensure a cultural organisation can survive the current financial crisis.

Redundancy announcements gather pace

Theatre by the Lake
10 Jun 2020

Furloughed arts employees across the country are being warned of job losses as the next stage of the furlough scheme is deemed “not fit for purpose for the theatre industry”.

Will it be worth it? The re-opening barriers facing visually impaired people

Describer Roz Chalmers on stage with participants of the touch tour for Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Old Vic.
09 Jun 2020

What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on those who are blind or have low levels of vision? And how can cultural venues meet their needs when the doors open again? Matthew Cock asked some searching questions.

Bailout plans progress for sectors whose markets have collapsed

The Old Vic at nightime
07 Jun 2020

A Cultural Investment Participation Scheme offering repayable finance could kickstart the cultural sector’s economy under proposals being drawn up for Government to take a quasi-equity stake in theatres.

DCMS announces Working Groups to advise on reopening

an elephant in close-up
05 Jun 2020

The new forums will give more organisations a voice on the process for opening up venues, but the cash flow crisis facing the entire sector will remain the elephant in the room.

Time to choose

a baseball cap lodged in a life buoy on a boat. The caption on the hat is "harmonize humanity"
04 Jun 2020

Trusts and foundations are preparing to build stronger connections with a changed world and a changed public. Moira Sinclair reflects on this brief window of opportunity for a more equal future – and why the alternative is too grim.

Why ‘minimum practice’ isn’t best practice – and isn’t good enough

a man installing audio visual equipment high up on an outdoor stage
04 Jun 2020

As more and more freelancers refuse to accept unfair agreements and start calling out bad practice by employers, there’s a legal, social and moral case for the whole sector to face up to the issues they’re confronting, says Sarah Shead.

Treating the rash or investing in a cure: the future of artists’ livelihoods

a painting of a ship in a stormy sea
03 Jun 2020

For artists and performers to be supported in the years ahead, de-institutionalisation and the decentralisation of arts funding is a priority. Universal basic income isn’t the whole answer, says Susan Jones.

Time to think the unthinkable

small chamber orchestra performing with period instruments
03 Jun 2020

Proposals for radical change would ordinarily be met with derision by most orchestra boardrooms, says Julian Forbes. But current circumstances make it essential to think long and hard about how well their product is aligned with a market, and how it can become more competitive.


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