Sector support charities merge after loss of ACE funding

Audience in theatre. Image depicts backs of heads and stage in background
23 Nov 2023

The Audience Agency and Culture24, who were both part of ACE's National Portfolio until they lost funding in April this year, have joined forces.

Data service to share museum records launches 

13 Nov 2023

A new service to gather and share object records from UK museums has launched. 

The Museums Data Service (MDS) has been developed to assemble data on museum collections, including location and opening times, summaries of collections and highlights, object records and exhibition text, but will not hold media assets.

Work on the project, a joint start-up by Art UK, Collections Trust and the University of Leicester, supported by funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, began in November 2022.

Training for early adopters of the programme will begin next month. MDS hopes to publish collection summaries for all 1,700 accredited museums by May 2024 and to have compiled all object records by 2033.

Collections Trust, funded by Arts Council England, is offering support to small organisations including Wolverhampton Museum, St Barbe Museum and the Royal Engineers Museum, to help them make the most of the new service. 

AI: Understanding the implications of fast developing technology

Graphic of human hand and robot hand reaching to touch each other
02 Nov 2023

Artificial intelligence has been around for years but, as Katie Moffat writes, the new generation of AI tools can be used by anyone, and can provide support with many day-to-day tasks.

Debbonaire unveils National Culture Infrastructure Plan

Thangam Debbonaire speaking at the Labour Party conference
12 Oct 2023

Shadow Culture Secretary also reiterates importance of creative curriculum and commits to action on visa waiver system for artists.

Scores of NPOs yet to register for Illuminate

The PricewaterhouseCoopers logo hanging from the side of a building
05 Oct 2023

More than 50 National Portfolio Organisations miss deadline imposed by Arts Council England to register with new data platform that has been beset by delays and glitches.

New approach to city metrics

Image of Lisbon
04 Oct 2023

A new index offers expert insights into the cultural resources of more than 500 cities worldwide, making it the only creative city index with global reach, writes David Adam

EXCLUSIVE: ACE drops reporting requirements over data platform glitches

The Illuminate online portal
13 Sep 2023

Amid sector concerns about new data platform Illuminate, Arts Council England says NPOs will not need to provide box office or audience survey data until next year.

Entries to creative A-levels fall again

Student playing the saxophone in music lesson.
22 Aug 2023

Sector leaders reignite call for educational reforms as entries to exams in creative subjects make up just over 10% of all A-levels. 

Website helps musicians input data for royalties

15 Jun 2023

A new website is helping songwriters, composers and artists understand how to input data integral to receiving royalties. 

The Get Paid Guide, a partnership between PRS for Music, The Ivors Academy, the Music Publishers Association and the Intellectual Property Office, will educate music creators on controlling and managing their music data, through a step-by-step guidance on what music data is, why it matters and what to do with it.

The collaboration was driven from a 2021 DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the economic impact of music streaming on creators.

Following the inquiry, government set up a music metadata working group. The group published the Metadata Agreement last month, which identified education on data input as an area that needed vital work.

Across the sector, creators have experienced delays in receiving royalties, and in some cases haven’t been paid at all, due to a lack of awareness around accurate metadata inputs.

In response, the Get Paid Guide features tutorials on International Standard Musical Work and International Standard Recording codes and offers help on frequently asked questions from creators, such as the use of pseudonyms and what to do when covering another artist’s song.

President of the PRS Members’ Council, Michelle Escoffery, says the guide “brings us closer to achieving a healthier metadata ecosystem overall”.

“Getting the data right at the point of works registration is vitally important and is often the difference between being paid or not.

“I encourage all music creators to use this guide, get fluent with the relevant codes and empower themselves to get paid accurately and quickly.”

ACE confirms further delay to audience data platform

People inside an auditorium
15 May 2023

Launch of new audience data platform rescheduled for second time meaning it will be two months late.

Opera North and Newcastle University launch three-year partnership

A scene from an Opera North production of Kiss Me Kate
12 May 2023

Organisations plan to build on previous work together through formal partnership to improve audience accessibility.

Sick days in arts industry rise by 66% in past year

12 May 2023

Businesses in the arts and entertainment industry have seen one of the biggest rises in sick leave across the UK, research has found.

The Sick Leave Report 2023, conducted by HR firm Access People HR, analysed sickness rates from more than 2,000 businesses, finding that the average company in the arts reported 39 days lost to sick leave in 2022. This compares with an average of 24 in 2021, 28 in 2020 and 20 in 2019.

In total, the sector experienced 66.7% more days lost in the last year due to short and long-term illness. The industries that charted the highest rise in the past year were water supply, sewerage and waste management (135% rise) and accommodation and food service activities (146%).

The firm said the rise in sickness rates in the arts and entertainment industry could be a sign that attitudes have changed following the pandemic, including concerns around spreading contagious diseases to the public.

It also pointed out that there is labour shortage in the sector, with arts officers, producers, dancers, musicians and artists all on the government's list of shortage occupations.

PwC blames Illuminate hold-up on 'contracting delays'

View of an audience within a theatre
03 May 2023

New platform for audience insights will launch six weeks late, leaving NPOs temporarily unable to use it for survey data.

DCMS study questions 'digital capacity' of museum sector

A virtual exhibition
24 Apr 2023

Report into partnership activities undertaken by the national museums raises questions about the capacity for and value of post-pandemic digital provision.

Research highlights gender disparities in dance sector

Two women dancing
04 Apr 2023

Study finds dance companies in receipt of most funding - and exerting greater influence on the sector - are more likely to be led by men, despite higher overall levels of female leadership.

Audience figures highlight ongoing recovery from pandemic

30 Mar 2023

Latest data from The Audience Agency (TAA) suggests a “long shadow” from the Covid pandemic is still affecting the sector.

The charity published its findings from its Cultural Participation Monitor on Tuesday (28 March), which found that more than a quarter of the population are attending arts and culture less than before the pandemic.

More than a third (37%) said they were attending less, compared with 12% who said they were attending more. These results were largely in line with those from a year ago, when 31% said they were attending less, compared with 12% more.

TAA says the pandemic has “receded as a perceived risk,” but added that it “remains a key factor for between a fifth and a quarter of people across a range of measures”.

Those attending cultural destinations less appear most influenced by the cost-of-living crisis, with 56% stating that their reduced attendance was because of money.

Elsewhere, TAA’s findings suggest that venues are reporting higher levels of late bookings – with 41% of audience members saying they tend to book last minute.

People are also planning to donate less, with 50% of those who currently donate to cultural organisations saying they plan to donate less across the next year.

TAA Chief Executive Anne Torreggiani says the new evidence confirms arts and cultural organisations are suffering a “double whammy” right now.

“Trying to navigate these complex reasons for income being down is very challenging for organisations,” she said.

“Developing a really deep understanding of your audience is going to make a big difference because what's working for a peer organisation in a different place with a different audience won’t necessarily work in your community.”

Opera plans: ACE analysis will 'inform future investment'

The exterior of the home of English National Opera, the Coliseum in London
16 Mar 2023

An independent analysis of opera and musical theatre will be completed by October, with the findings set to inform future support and investment for the sector.

Museum's artefact database 'inaccessible' after cyber attack

16 Mar 2023

A cyber attack linked to Russian hackers that took place more than a year ago is continuing to prevent a museum from accessing its artefact database.

The BBC reports that benefit payments, planning applications and house sales were all delayed when Gloucester City Council was hit by hackers in December 2021.

A new council report has revealed that the Museum of Gloucester is still being affected by the cyber incident.

"It is very worrying that in a council report it was mentioned that the museum services had not had access to its collections database, hindering important investigation into the city's historic monuments," Jeremy Hilton, Leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group at the council, said.

"I hope this important information isn't lost forever or that officers will not have to spend their valuable time inputting data all over again."

Andy Lewis, Portfolio holder for Culture and Leisure at the council, said he believed no records had been lost.

ACE vows to prevent 'commercial exploitation' of audience data

14 Mar 2023

Arts Council England says platform developers PwC will not be allowed to benefit commercially from data provided to it, as it publishes new guidance for organisations making up its 2023-26 portfolio.

Small increase in overseas visitors to museums and galleries

13 Mar 2023

The number of people visiting DCMS-sponsored institutions from outside the UK showed slow signs of recovery last year, according to new figures released by the department.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, there were an estimated 1.3m overseas visitors to DCMS-sponsored museums and galleries.

The number is nearly 23 times higher than the previous year, when there were just 54,000 visits from people living outside the UK, largely due to lockdown restrictions.

But the number of overseas visitors remains 94% down on the last financial year unaffected by the pandemic, when 22.7m visited DCMS-sponsored sites in 2018/19. 

Museums and galleries supported by DCMS include the British Museum, Imperial War Museums, National Museums Liverpool, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum Group and the Tate Gallery Group.

The department says the current trend largely mirrors the decrease in overseas visitors to the UK since the pandemic.


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