Digital impact in museums and galleries

Woman looking at screen
04 Jan 2023

How might museums be supported in developing a digital strategy? Mike Keating shares the findings of a new report to better understand the barriers museums face in their digital offer.

ACE awards funding for project exploring bisexuality

Poet Helen Bowell
21 Dec 2022

Series of events and workshops to be held across UK as part of project designed to develop creative practice of bi+ writers.

Museums receive £1.8m for 'experimental' engagement projects

Lipstick exhibit from Museum of Transology
21 Dec 2022

Latest round of Art Fund's 'Reimagine' grants programme goes to projects experimenting with new forms of audience engagement.

UK museum artworks to be shared through new data service

12 Dec 2022

A UK-wide Museum Data Service is to be established to pool records on millions of objects so they can be shared for research and public use.

The initiative, a three-way partnership between Art UK, Collections Trust and the University of Leicester is scheduled to launch in autumn 2023.

Art UK, which already brings more than 300,000 artworks, from 3,400 collections, to an online audience of more than 4.5 million people each year, said the new data service will allow it to scale up its operation adding millions more artworks over time.

The work, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, will also involve the creation of a new state-of-the-art e-commerce platform which it is hoped will support Art UK collection partners to substantially grow commercial income from their image assets.

Andrew Ellis, Director of Art UK, said: “The benefits to our audiences and participating collections will be significant in terms of the growth in artworks joining Art UK and the growth in commercial income. 

"But the real excitement here is to be working with Collections Trust and the University of Leicester on such a transformational initiative for the wider sector, one that will do so much to reduce silos and grow knowledge sharing”.

DCMS 'overstated' economic value of UNBOXED festival

Image of light installation projected onto a building
02 Dec 2022

Investigation of government's flagship UNBOXED festival finds it was given go-ahead despite an 'overstatement' of its value to the economy by DCMS, but broadly met its audience targets.

Taking the pain out of digital projects

Hand drawing a site map for a website
29 Nov 2022

Getting the go-ahead for a new digital project is exciting. Here Katie Moffat lays down the ground rules to ensure progress is smooth.

Competition watchdog rules out music streaming investigation 

28 Nov 2022

Despite concerns from music industry stakeholders, the UK's competition watchdog  has decided that a formal investigation would be unlikely to improve outcomes for listeners or creators.  

Peer-to-peer mentoring for digital

Woman sitting at a desk in front of a laptop
16 Nov 2022

Many organisations are feeling overwhelmed at the huge range of available digital opportunties. Rob Lindsay explores how mentoring can provide support to those in need of building digital confidence.

ACE hands audience data contract to consultancy firm PwC

10 Nov 2022

Arts Council England drops arts and culture research specialists The Audience Agency from sector support role, handing new contract for data insights to global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

How many arts administrators does it take to change a lightbulb?

09 Nov 2022

A recent article* from academic and musician Thomas Wolf makes a strident argument that arts organisations employ too many administrators. Ash Mann disagrees.

Filming bootcamp set for West Midlands

27 Oct 2022

Creatives in the West Midlands are being invited to apply for a free six-week programme aiming to develop the next generation of multi-camera talent.

The Filming Performance Bootcamp, a partnership between The Space, Solihull College and University Centre and part funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, will give participants an overview of how live performances are captured for screen and how various art forms can be filmed for TV and online audiences.

Students will undertake a two-week workshop to learn filming, vision mixing and editing skills, alongside attending masterclasses with industry professionals and gaining hands-on training in capturing live performances and working with artists.

The latest programme, which follows a pilot in Birmingham earlier this year, will run for six weeks starting 30 January 2023.

Applications are open until 8 December to any creatives over 19 that live in the West Midlands, with no prior experience in filming or live capture required.

Skills body ScreenSkills is offering bursaries of up to £2,500 per participant to cover costs incurred while taking part in the course, including a loss of earning access or childcare needs.

CEO of The Space Fiona Morris said the increasing number of opportunities for artists and cultural organisations to present their work digitally is leading to an unprecedented demand for the skills required to film, mix and edit work.

“We’re delighted, therefore, to be working with our partners to provide such brilliant opportunities for trainees to gain hands-on experience and benefit from working with high-calibre creative professionals,” she added.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said the bootcamp will ensure participants are equipped with the sector-relevant skills that will mean they're well-placed to thrive in the months and years ahead: “I cannot wait to see lives changed for the better”.

Review to explore benefits of creative health initiatives

18 Oct 2022

A series of online roundtable discussions will be held over the coming year as part of a new Creative Health Review designed to highlight the potential for creative health to tackle pressing issues in health and social care.

The National Centre for Creative Health and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, which are holding the review jointly, hope the findings will aid policymakers in addressing problems including health inequalities and the additional challenges posed by the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The roundtables, which will be open to a public audience, will present “evidence and examples of the powerful influence creative health can have on our health and wellbeing, and how it can be used across key policy areas”.

The information shared will be compiled by 16 commissioners tasked with developing a set of recommendations designed to guide policymakers in informing and encouraging the development of a cross-governmental strategy on creative health.

Themes earmarked for exploration during the series of roundtables include mental health and wellbeing across the life course, health inequalities, social care, end-of-life care, education and training, cost-effectiveness, evidencing value for money and funding models, and leadership and strategy.

Digital skills fund opens in Northern Ireland

12 Oct 2022

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened a funding programme that aims to give arts organisations the skills to create digital art.

The Organisations Digital Evolution Awards offers grants of up to £10,000 for those making digital art for the first time, or working with digital or immersive technology they have not previously used.

The scheme will support a range of digital activity including: app development, virtual or augmented reality works, 3D rendering and printing, and the translation of digital data into artworks.

Collaborative applications from organisations working together in cross-discipline projects are encouraged. Funded by the National Lottery, the total fund is worth £40,000.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “This programme reflects the Arts Council’s commitment to encouraging innovative practices that cross artform boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector.”   

The scheme has opened to online applications and closes at midday on Monday 14 November.

What does digital access mean for arts organisations?

Digital image
11 Oct 2022

Many companies are making brilliant accessible work and universal content that people want to see. But, as Harmeet Chagger-Khan argues, we need a more consistent approach.

New arts resource for Welsh health workers

04 Oct 2022

Wales’ arts community has made an online resource to support NHS and care home staff this winter.

Cultural Cwtsh features short, accessible videos from 50 professional artists across Wales showcasing a range of cultural activities including poetry, juggling, beatboxing, dancing and photography.

The website was created by Arts Council of Wales (ACW) with funding support from the Welsh Government as part of an ongoing programme of partnership works highlighting the proven well-being benefits of the arts.

ACW Programme Manager for Arts, Health and Wellbeing Sally Lewis said she hopes people working in healthcare will enjoy discovering their own creativity through the resource.

“The Cultural Cwtsh is a direct response to the significant challenges and pressures healthcare staff continue to face. 

“[It] aims to use creativity to boost staff wellbeing by providing comfort, fun, distraction, solace, relaxation, stimulation, an outlet for expression as well as opportunities for people to learn a new skill.”

Royal Opera House unveils subscription streaming service

04 Oct 2022

The Royal Opera House has announced a new online subscription service offering works from its archives, behind the scenes features, and talks for a monthly or annual fee.

The move to offer a permanent streaming service follows a programme of nine live-streamed concerts and 38 productions from its archives which ran during the pandemic. 

The organisation said subscribers, who will be asked to pay £9.99 a month or £99 a year, will have access to an extensive catalogue of full-length performances spanning two decades.

There will also be more than 85 behind-the-scenes features, trailers, talks and insights. Brand-new titles will be made available monthly, along with behind-the-scenes content. 

During the pandemic, content in the Royal Opera House's #OurHouseToYourHouse programme was viewed more than 15 million times in 183 countries, broadcast in partnership with the BBC, Sky Arts, Marquee TV and Netflix. 

Donelan: DCMS will prioritise economic growth 

Michelle Donelan speaking at the Conservative Party Conference
04 Oct 2022

In her first major speech as Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan pledges to drive growth within arts, culture and tourism sectors in order to 'create more wealth and prosperity'.

Creative network to boost growth in South London

27 Sep 2022

A new network for creative businesses in South London has launched to boost growth and innovation in the area.

The Creative Industries Network is a partnership between Kingston University and Business, Innovation and Growth South London.

It will offer a range of services to businesses, including mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and access to creative business opportunities.

A workshop series will tackle topics such as digital transformation, business resilience, bid writing, and skills and talent development.

The new initiative is led by Professor Maria Chatzichristodoulou, Associate Dean of Research, Business & Innovation at Kingston University.

She said: “We are building a dynamic network of businesses, practitioners and researchers from across the creative sector in South London.

“We aim to bring the sector together to address common challenges, and share opportunities and best practice.”

The network, which covers Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton, is open to organisations operating within the performing arts, visual arts, music, museums and heritage, crafts, design, literature, film, TV and arts and culture management.

An online launch event is planned for 3 October.

No return to normal

an audience member records a performance
21 Sep 2022

The way arts organisations responded to the pandemic offered a glimpse of how they could evolve. But a rush to any ‘return to normal’ risks squandering these lessons, says Ash Mann.

AHRC to invest £100m in future technologies drive

20 Sep 2022

Funding will be used to establish a national studio for advanced technologies to drive developments in live theatre, music and visual art.


Subscribe to Digital