ACE to consider long-term future of race and disability groups

Arts Council England offices in Birmingham
26 Mar 2024

The public funding body's National Council will explore how its race and disability groups can 'continue to develop', with the creation of a gender advisory group also a possibility.

Tate Britain seeks to contextualise 'offensive' mural

13 Mar 2024

Tate Britain has unveiled a new video work made in response to a 1927 mural that has been closed to the public since 2020 due to its offensive imagery.

‘Vive Voce’, a two-screen 20-minute video by Keith Piper, is installed next to the Rex Whistler painting, ‘The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats’, in what was formerly the London gallery’s restaurant.

The film depicts an academic challenging Whistler about the mural, which includes offensive depictions of black slaves on a leash and caricatures of Chinese people.

Tate said the film explores "the social and political context of 1920s Britain”. It includes archive footage of black soldiers in World War One and the ‘Races in Residence’ pavilion at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition.

Piper said he wanted "to give a sense of how and why the mural exists” and defended Tate Britain’s decision to keep the work rather than remove it.

He said: "I know there is an argument among young people now that these images re-traumatise, but I think we either look or forget.

"We are very good at forgetting nowadays and things that are out of sight go out of mind. To keep a clear sense of history we need to see these things.”

Another theatre to stage 'Black Out' nights

Exterior of Seven Dials Playhouse
11 Mar 2024

News that another theatre will stage performances  exclusively for Black, Indigenous and People of Color-identifying audience members follows criticism of the concept by Downing Street last month.

Downing Street labels Black Out theatre performances 'wrong'

Exterior of the Noel Coward Theatre in London's West End
29 Feb 2024

Spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says concept of restricting audiences based on race is ‘concerning and divisive’.

Historic England funds projects showcasing working class heritage

21 Feb 2024

From celebrating old factories and buildings to local activities and communities, Historic England has split £875,000 across 56 projects showcasing aspects of England’s working class history.

Opening up career opportunities in the cultural sector

Image of screen printing
23 Jan 2024

A pioneering educational programme for neurodivergent young people has been given a boost from social impact investment. Seva Phillips has been talking to Lisa Alberti about her vision at Pinc College.

Collections Trust reviews weblinks policy after Hamas reference

The title page of the inclusive terminology glossary against the background of Paintings in The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
22 Jan 2024

Collections Trust has deleted a link to a terminology guide from its website following accusations that a section on Palestine described Hamas as 'freedom fighters'.

Scottish government commits £200,000 to 'slavery museum'

The interior of the Museum of Scotland
22 Jan 2024

All six recommendations of independent steering group, set up to advise on how museums and galleries can better reflect the country’s role in empire, colonialism and historic slavery are accepted by Scottish government.

Cultural policy begins at home

Image of a dartboard
15 Jan 2024

It’s January - a new year, a time when we dare to be optimistic about the state of things, maybe even wish for change, writes Lauren James.

New body seeks to tackle 'cancel culture' in the arts

Headshot of Denise Fahmy, October 2017
01 Nov 2023

Freedom in the Arts, co-founded by former Arts Council England employee Denise Fahmy, says it wants to 'tackle the culture of fear and intimidation facing artists'.

Theatre's Black Out performance 'led to threats and abuse'

The interior of Theatre Royal Stratford East showing the stage with the safety iron down
31 Oct 2023

Theatre Royal Stratford East's decision to designate a performance for a Black audience earlier this year divided opinion, drawing both criticism and praise.

'Institutional change' needed to boost creative sector diversity

Students holding tablets and phone talk in university lobby
25 Oct 2023

Access to creative Higher Education courses is ‘highly unequal’ and institutional change is required to improve diversity within the sector, report finds.

A journey from shame to activism

Journey to activism graphic
17 Oct 2023

Continuing our series on activism in the arts, Kevin Osborne reflects on how his early antipathy has been transformed into a greater sense of belonging.

Judge exonerates ACE over race discrimination claim

Employment tribunal documents, notepad and glasses
17 Oct 2023

Employment tribunal finds no grounds for claims by former Relationship Manager that she was harassed and persecuted by colleagues over the course of her employment. 

ACE 'institutionally racist', former employee claims

Corynne Elliot performing on stage as Speech Debelle
12 Oct 2023

Award-winning musician Speech Debelle says there was a 'campaign' against her during her time as a Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, but organisation refutes her 'distorted' interpretation of events.

Gender debate 'fracturing Arts Council England'

Arts Council England's offices in Birmingham
27 Sep 2023

An independent review into diversity and inclusion within Arts Council England praises the organisation's efforts but highlights divisions over transgender issues and cases of racism.

There is plenty of room in museums for all of us

Symbol of transgender symbol visible through torn paper on a pink and blue background
27 Sep 2023

In response to criticism of new guidance on trans inclusive practice in museums, its authors Suzanne MacLeod, Richard Sandell, Sharon Cowan and E-J Scott push back against the critics, arguing the guidance can be used with confidence.

Arts organisations 'increasingly anxious on trans issues'

White transgender symbol on the background of many pink and blue gender symbols. The colours of the transgender flag. 3D illustration via iStock.
07 Sep 2023

Detailed guidance providing arts organisations with clarity on the law relating to trans issues, and advice on how to deal with disagreements, is published.

Accessibility IPSO relocates under ACE transfer scheme

Live subtitled tour guide image at Wellcome Collection
07 Sep 2023

Stagetext says its move to Colchester will allow it to improve access to arts and culture across the South East.

Lessons from Black British theatre

Group of Black students posing in Talawa theatre
06 Sep 2023

Kimberly Harding’s desire to study Black British theatre was born decades ago. This summer she travelled to London to make it happen.

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