West London arts centre to close

An exterior view of Watermans Arts Centre
20 Mar 2024

Watermans Art Centre will close next month to 'protect the organisation's financial viability' ahead of planned moved to a new site.

Springing back into action: new insights

Graphic showing a person speaking into a mic, a meter, tickets, emojis, mobile phone
26 Apr 2023

Most people in the sector don’t need to be analysts but they do need the insight to make changes that speak to audiences. Here, Anne Torregiani shares how this thinking has shaped The Audience Agency’s next-generation suite of audience insight tools. 

Weathering the cost-of-living storm across the UK

Storm clouds and lightning
08 Dec 2022

Research rings warning bells about the potential effects of the cost-of-living clouds rolling in across all four nations. Anne Torreggiani asks how we can brace for impact and support communities? 

Bridging the divide for children in the North

Childwall Academy
17 Nov 2022

At the heart of the cost-of-living and Covid storm, children and young people have fewer opportunities to engage in arts and culture and barriers to access are growing. Hannah Baldwin thinks this is a crisis in the making.

Education in need of a radical rethink 

First Encounters with Shakespeare production photograph
15 Sep 2022

Industry complains of a chronic skills shortage in areas such as communication and creativity. Yet our education system places little value on subjects that hone those skills, says Jacqui O'Hanlon.

‘Make it SO’

17 May 2022

In the last in our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Claire Whitaker says Southampton has been connecting the UK with people across the globe for thousands of years.

‘We rise together’

Children celebrate Wrexham's City of Culture 2025 bid
04 May 2022

In the third of our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Ian Bancroft reveals Wrexham as “one of the last punk places in the UK”.

‘Our Time, Our Place’

Young people from Bradford send off for the district's official UK City of Culture 2025 bid
19 Apr 2022

In the second in our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Shanaz Gulzar shares how Bradford's young people shaped a bid that awakened a sleeping giant of a city.

‘The past we inherit, the future we build’

Durham miners' gala
06 Apr 2022

In the first in a series profiling the shortlisted candidates for UK City of Culture 2025, Alison Clark introduces the county whose bid is inspired by the Durham Miners Association.

What does your pricing say about you?

09 Mar 2022

Pricing is an overlooked form of communication. As soon as a price is placed on something, it sends out a message about the product, says David Reece

The real Big Bang

Poet Scarlett Ward leads a poetry workshop in conjunction with About Us and UNBOXED
22 Feb 2022

About Us* is a dazzling free show combining projection mapping, animation, music and poetry. At its heart, says Maggie Aderin-Pocock, is a simple message: we are all connected. 

Welcome to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

people looking at an art installation
21 Oct 2021

What happens when creative minds from different sectors and disciplines come together to imagine and design bold, large-scale events to reach millions of people worldwide? Martin Green reveals what’s in store for 2022.

Study finds arts underinvestment across Derby and Nottingham

09 Apr 2024

Historic levels of funding from local authorities, Arts Council England and National Lottery across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire found to be below average.

Government urged to develop live performance 'crisis plan'

26 Mar 2024

Performing arts sector remains at threat from future global shocks unless action on resilience planning is taken by both central and local government, report finds.

Visitor numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels

the British Museum
19 Mar 2024

Solid year-on-year rise in attendence figures for UK visitor attractions, but the total remains 11% down on pre-pandemic levels.

Vault Festival closes after funding for new venue falls through

14 Mar 2024

London's Vault Festival of theatre and performance has announced its closure after funding for its new venue fell through.

More than half of arts audiences are first-time bookers

Audience cheering
05 Mar 2024

Research into the behaviour of new arts audiences post-pandemic found the retention rate of new bookers in 2023 was higher than it has been since 2016.

West Yorkshire launches access scheme for cultural venues

Mayor West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin speaking at an event
21 Feb 2024

The initiative is the first of a raft of measures that form a £2.3m support package for West Yorkshire’s creative sector.

Nearly 50 former NPOs have closed since 2018

Arnolfini Bristol
19 Feb 2024

Research by third-sector financial benchmarkers MyCake has analysed the longevity and turnover of arts organisations that exit Arts Council England's national Funding Portfolio. 

Attendance at Manchester International Festival tops 300,000

07 Feb 2024

Last summer’s Manchester International Festival (MIF23) attracted more than 325,000 visitors to the city, according to a new report.

The report, by Manchester City Council’s Economy and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, found the amount of money spent by attendees at the ninth edition of the biennial festival totaled £39.2m.

Almost half (47%) of visits to MIF23 were by first-timers to the festivals, compared with 36% in 2019 and 40% in 2021.

A total of 428 volunteers contributed 9,000 volunteer hours during the 18-day event. Meanwhile, 178 artists benefited from a development opportunity at MIF23, and more than 1,164 children were involved in creative activities.

The council’s report also found more than 300,000 visitors have passed through the doors of Manchester’s Aviva Studios since it opened last summer, with almost a third (32%) from Manchester.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council Deputy Leader, said 2023 "was without doubt a stand-out year for culture in Manchester and MIF23 had a big part to play in this".

"From visitor spend and audience numbers, to volunteer hours and the number of amazing opportunities for local artists, residents and young people to get involved, together with a world-class programme of new work to see and enjoy, the festival delivers on every front. 

"And now with the opening of Aviva Studios, the country's landmark new building for the arts, it's very clear that Manchester is the cultural place to be."

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