UNBOXED 2022 offers innovation - and employment

21 Oct 2021

Once derided as the Festival of Brexit, the eight-month mega event will "prove the naysayers wrong".

Digital pivot reverses as theatres struggle to monetise online shows

14 Oct 2021

The trend has raised fears about diminishing access for disabled audiences - but research suggests they too are starting to switch off.

Art Fund awards £650k in new grants scheme

11 Oct 2021

Art Fund has announced the first wave of winners for its £2m Reimagine grants programme.

Twenty-two museums, galleries, historic houses and trusts have been awarded a share of £658,331.

Nine organisations have been awarded grants between £5,000 and £15,000, with a further 13 receiving funding up to £50,000.

The programme, which helps projects and networks "navigate their way to recovery" from the pandemic, prioritised applications focused on collections, digital work, audience engagement and the workforce.

Winning bids included a transatlantic slavery project led by National Museums Liverpool, a captioning project by Nottingham Contemporary, and 'Minecraft Museum', a project marrying gaming and curation at The Story Museum.

Visual arts nework CVAN will received funding to strengthen its advocacy and professional development work.

"Museums often produce what seem like miracles on a shoestring, but they need enhanced resources – such as in digital, specialist support and staffing – to truly build for the future," Art Fund Director Jenny Waldman said.

Grant winners for the second wave of funding will be announced in November, with the final round scheduled for December.

Tech enabling creativity

06 Oct 2021

One of the most powerful things to emerge during the pandemic is the importance of the arts to our wellbeing. Gilane Tawadros says the visual arts – and artists in particular - can play a critical role in post-pandemic recovery.

Aberdeen commits to digital music teaching

04 Oct 2021

Aberdeen City Council has approved plans to provide online instrumental lessons for pupils.

It first introduced digital music lessons during the pandemic, when Aberdeen City Music Service began uploading instructor videos for pupils to access between classes.

The provider says students have made "good progress" during digital lessons, prompting council officers to consult with pupils, parents and instructors to determine the scope of the offer.

The initiative will support an expected increase in the number of pupils taking lessons as Scotland becomes the first UK nation to mandate free instrumental music tuition.

"Our council has been pioneering in its use of digital technology - and there is a great opportunity to harness its power in delivering content to support those who engage with the music service," Councillor M Taqueer Malik commented.

ACE launches Digital Culture Awards

01 Oct 2021

The first ever Digital Culture Awards will celebrate and showcase digital innovation over the course of the pandemic.

Arts Council England has launched the awards, and is seeking applications for "the best in digital transformation, digital engagement and use of technology".

There are eight categories: social media, content production, content distribution, income generation, digital inclusion, use of data, organisational digital transformation, and emerging digital leader.  

Entries close at 10am November 8, with a shortlist decided thereafter.

Public voting to decide the winners will open mid-December before a virtual awards ceremony on January 20, 2022.

Only 720 UK artists make a living from music streaming

30 Sep 2021

A long-awaited report into music creators' earnings estimates they receive a fifth of a penny per stream, but avoids wading into the debate about whether that's fair.

Theatres split over return of digital pantos

actor performing on stage
30 Sep 2021

Research suggests audiences enjoyed watching Christmas performances online last year, but few may return as theatres focus on drawing crowds for in-person shows.

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.

British Museum ventures into NFT sales

27 Sep 2021

The British Museum is dipping its toe into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by selling more than 200 digital postcards depicting the work of Japanese printmaker Hokusai.

The museum has partnered with French start-up LaCollection to deliver the initiative on a platform dedicated to digitalising museum and institutional collections.

LaCollection.io will launch on September 30 to coincide with the museum’s new exhibition Hokusai: The Great Picture of Everything.

Produced by the British Museum, common NFTs will be priced around £365, with rare and unique NFTs expected to go up for auction.

If an NFT is resold at a secondary market, British Museum will be entitled to 10% and LaCollection to 3%.

“It is so important that as a museum we continually adapt to new markets and find new ways of reaching people that we may not reach through traditional channels,” the museum's Licensing Manager Craig Bendle said.

Watchdog called to probe music labels' market dominance

22 Sep 2021

The Government has responded to a critical inquiry on streaming with a 12-month schedule of research and working groups to challenge industry practices.

Win-win for disabled arts-lovers and the sector

22 Sep 2021

While anxiety about attending events remains high amongst disabled people, Anne Torregiani says the Covid online content boom has seen revolutionary opportunities that could improve access for good.

£14.5m for AI to curate national heritage collection

Woman looking at artefacts in the British Museum
21 Sep 2021

AHRC’s investment will support artificially intelligent programmes to create unified virtual collections of the UK’s museums, archives, libraries, and galleries.

Being at home in Manchester

landscape image of Manchester's HOME venue
14 Sep 2021

A group of artists from Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse communities have been working on a project to transform accessibility. Nickie Miles-Wildin reports on its successes.

Teen curates catalogue of MPs' favourite artworks

14 Sep 2021

A catalogue featuring the favourite artworks of 101 Members of Parliament is now available online.

John Lilbourne, 18, curated the online exhibition after writing to all 650 MPs during lockdown, asking: "What is your favourite owned artwork?".

Dear John features his favourite responses from cross party MPs, including cabinet ministers Oliver Dowden and Priti Patel.

Works on display range from portraits of the Queen and Margaret Thatcher to art created by MPs' children. 

Dowden sent a photograph of the Queen from Twitter and Matt Hancock has a Damien Hirst portrait of the monarch.

Jacob Rees-Mogg highlighted a 15th Century statue from the studio of Italian sculptor Della Robia.

When asked why he undertook the project, Lilbourne said:

"These are people who make the decisions that govern our lives, but they feel so unreachable. By writing to them with this question I was trying to find a human connection.”

Digital didn't change arts engagement, study finds

09 Sep 2021

The digital pivot might have altered online attendance slighty but for most of the UK, "the new normal of pandemic life was very much like the old normal".

Making content fully accessible

a sign with a logo of a person in a wheelchair, signalling access to a step free route
08 Sep 2021

The shift to digital has been beneficial to many, but Ash Mann is particularly interested in what it could mean for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people.

Enhancing artist and audience experience

AH AW (OR) OO EE UR (UR) The Long Vowels, 2020
07 Sep 2021

Issues of access have beleaguered artists and audiences alike. Jamie Wyld explores how access streams can be used in innovative ways to enhance both artist and audience experience.

National Theatre of Scotland opens digital education portal

26 Aug 2021

The National Theatre of Scotland has launched an online education portal.

It launches with a full version of Hannah Lavery's Lament for Sheku Bayoh, filmed at the Lyceum Theatre, alongside educational resources.

The theatre has made access free to schools to spark "an anti-racism conversation in response to the production".

Further productions staged at the theatre will be added, including forthcoming productions of The Enemy and Enough of Him.

Head of Creative Engagement Paul Fitzpatrick says the portal will "facilitate access to the arts, learning and discussion" across Scotland.

Self-taped auditions must be reformed, Equity says

man learning lines in front of camera
17 Aug 2021

A new best practice guide aims to eliminate unrealistic deadlines and overly long scripts to address auditioners’ anxieties.


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