LGB Alliance grant suspended after outcry

protestors hold up a pride flag and trans flag
13 Apr 2022

The gender critical organisation received one of 704 grants in Arts Council England’s £4.58m Let’s Create Jubilee Fund.

Middlesbrough eyes most creative town title

04 Apr 2022

Middlesbrough has set its sights on becoming the UK’s most creative town after investing £5m in cultural development.

The town secured £4.25m from the Government’s Cultural Development Fund, which will be topped up by match funding.

Financed projects expected to create almost 90 jobs include a fabrication laboratory within the Central Library and a £1m renovation of artists' space the Auxiliary. 

During the developments, Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership will rotate its chair to ensure equitable representation and pay every artist involved in the works.
Middlesbrough Council Head of Culture Charlotte Nicol said collaboration will be at the heart of the partnership, and key to achieving its ambition.

“This more equitable approach is what will help set us apart, providing an accessible platform for creativity, as well as additional pathways to opportunity and success for people living in and around our vibrant town.”

Commonwealth Games’ diversity commitments questioned

Birmingham 2022 mural outside Birmingham New Street Station by Gent 48
01 Apr 2022

Organisers reject claims that the Games’ cultural programme is not representative of the city’s diverse communities.

Immersive storytelling experience set for UNBOXED

15 Mar 2022

Fifty creative professionals will develop an immersive storytelling experience as one of the 10 commissioned projects for UNBOXED 2022.

Billed as the biggest project of its kind ever in the UK, StoryTrails will use augmented and virtual reality to reanimate public spaces in 15 locations across the country this summer.

The recruited creatives will co-produce, design and write the project, with support from StoryFutures Academy, the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling.

UNBOXED Chief Creative Officer Martin Green says the creatives were recruited from diverse backgrounds: “In doing so, they are playing a vital role in building a dynamic future workforce for the creative industries in the UK.”

StoryTrails will run between July 1 and September 18, culminating in a film presented in cinemas and on BBC iPlayer.

Bluecoat recognised for dementia arts project

09 Mar 2022

Liverpool arts centre Bluecoat has been recognised for a partnership that delivered arts sessions via video call during the lockdowns.

Bluecoat and Belong, a dementia care provider, won the Creative Arts Award at the Third Sector Care Awards 2022. Their lauded project enhanced participant's cognitive capacity and increased their sense of community.

Where the Arts Belong has run since 2019, but participation was widened during the pandemic. Artists worked with residents of Belong villages to explore storytelling, sculpture, dance and sound.

"It really is a win for all our customers and Bluecoat’s commissioned artists," Belong Interim Chief Executive Stacey McCann said.

Where the Arts Belong exhibition will open at Bluecoat later this month.

Cultural democracy is key to audience engagement 

Warwick Gates and Whitnash
01 Mar 2022

Creating trust, promoting equity and putting cultural democracy at the heart of the vision for Coventry 2021 has been key to its success, says Kate Danielson.

New Historic England fund focuses on ‘everyday heritage’

28 Feb 2022

The public body responsible for England's historic environment is focusing on working-class history with a new funding scheme for cultural activities. 

EURO 2022 plans £800k cultural programme

28 Feb 2022

UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, the women’s European football championship, will run a cultural programme alongside the tournament coming to England this summer.

The arts programme will be managed by the Football Association (FA) and is made possible through an £800,000 Arts Council England grant.

Three commissioned projects will harness culture to celebrate the history of women’s football, including an opportunity open to the public to create an original anthem for the championship.

“The combined forces of culture and sport have the power to improve lives, regenerate neighbourhoods, support local economies and bring people together nationally and internationally,” ACE Chief Executive Darren Henley said.

LEEDS 2023: levelling up in action

panoramic overhead view of Leeds city centre
09 Feb 2022

Since Britain’s exit from Europe, we have no longer been able to compete for European Capital of Culture. But, as Kully Thiarai writes, Leeds decided to do it anyway. 

Scottish Ballet extends health and wellbeing classes

07 Feb 2022

Scottish Ballet has committed to a five-year extension of its health and wellbeing programme.

The dance company offers classes across Scotland for people living with long term conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Dementia.

Scottish Ballet’s Director of Engagement Catherine Cassidy said support from investment company Baillie Gifford will help develop the programme, which has run since 2015.

More than a million Scots live with neurological conditions. Studies show taking part in regular dance classes can improve balance, fatigue and cognitive performance.

Working dynamically

Z-Arts' contribution to 'Here and Now'.
25 Jan 2022

ACE’s Let’s Create strategy prioritises ‘dynamism’ as a funding principle. But what does it mean? Annabel Turpin and Gavin Barlow share how their organisation’s dynamism helped them respond to the pandemic. 

Covid smokescreen conceals true impact of Brexit

protest sign showing Boris Johnson in clown makeup
07 Dec 2021

Brexit has had a huge emotional impact and has affected the funding, mobility, and partnerships of UK cultural organisations. Charlotte Faucher has been investigating.

£38.3m for ACE’s Creative People and Places

group of people stand in front of a murial
07 Dec 2021

Eleven new projects join the programme, all located in areas rated as ‘high need’ for cultural investment.

Matchmaking creatives with empty spaces

old shop converted into artist's studio
26 Oct 2021

With many retail outlets and offices standing empty across the UK, an ingenious new charity is matching creatives with landlords. Will Jennings has the details.

Great Place Greater Manchester

26 Oct 2021

Julie McCarthy reflects on three years of action research into the role of culture in shaping the lives of the people of Greater Manchester.

Dance is back – live and direct

group of dancers
06 Oct 2021

Birmingham International Dance Festival is a celebration of the return to outdoor arts. For Debbie Jardine and Raidene Carter, it is both a taste and a test for next year's Cultural Programme of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Is DCMS any longer fit for purpose?

photo of Nadine Dorries
28 Sep 2021

While the appointment of Nadine Dorries to lead DCMS has been greeted with widespread dismay by the cultural sector, Robert Hewison reflects on a deeper malaise at the heart of Government.

Collective creativity can address global challenges

photo of Hatchling exhibition
28 Sep 2021

When the best of technology meets the spark of creativity, incredible things can happen regardless of what century - or millennium - you happen to be in, says Hayaatun Sillem.

Coventry 2021: spotlighting disabled artists 

a group of performers
28 Sep 2021

Jake Bartle reports on how Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 is shining a spotlight on disabled artists.

A curatorial career driving culture-led regeneration

image of Victoria Pomery
28 Sep 2021

Ten years after Turner Contemporary opened its doors to the public, its Director Victoria Pomery OBE is stepping down. Here she reflects on her career.


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