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.

When boards go bad: how to take inclusive action

graphic of two characters arguing
13 Oct 2021

Over the past year, Amanda Parker has been privy to several board-level conflicts that she describes as nightmarish. Boards, she advises, need to ensure democratic processes support equitable redress. 

Where are the young people on arts boards?

Violinists playing
13 Oct 2021

Ten years ago, while most 21-year-olds were exploring their freedom, Toks Dada was spending his evenings and weekends reading company management reports, annotating business plans, and scrutinising financial accounts. Here he explains why.

Five-year grant for creative ageing programme

07 Oct 2021

Newbury's Corn Exchange has received funding to begin the next stage of a legacy creative ageing programme.

A new team dedicated to this work has been appointed on the back of the £339,000 Lottery grant to lead engagement with older people, especially those who are rurally based and socially isolated.

The first stage of Ageing Creatively ran from 2016 to 2019. This second stage will involve a range of Covid-safe singing, writing, dance, crafts and exercise workshops, as well as a Touch to See group for the visually impaired.

Engagement Manager Hannah Elder said the programme is varied, responsive and provides a noticeable service to its community.

"We see the smiles in our Memory Cafe morning and the concentration on the faces of those attending Afternoon Art.

"We hope to see this impact continue for our ageing community over the next five years, and to play a real part locally in championing arts for health and well-being among our elders."

Northern Ireland's arts engagement drops to 12 year low

06 Oct 2021

The number of adults engaging in arts and culture in Northern Ireland has fallen once again.

Continuous Household Survey data for 2020/21 shows 81% of adults engaged in arts and culture in the last 12 months, compared to 87% in 2019/20. 

This year's figure represents the lowest recorded for engagement in arts and culture since 2008/09.

Despite the overall decrease, the number of adults using public libraries increased from 23% to 28%.

The number of adults visiting a museum or science centre remained stable at 37%.

This year's report is the first to record engagement against deprivation. 84% of adults living in Northern Ireland's least deprived areas engaged in arts and culture compared to 78% living in the most deprived areas.

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.

Futureproofing the museum sector

Firstsite Museum
28 Sep 2021

Sarah Philp explores the challenge of developing funding to get more people to visit museums and see more art.

Peterborough to deliberate on new cultural strategy 

24 Sep 2021

Peterborough is set to decide a new 10-year strategy to turn the area into a "cultural hotspot". 

The proposed strategy, co-produced by the city council, City Culture Peterborough, and Norfolk & Norwich Festival Bridge, proposes forming a local body for heritage and arts and a prospective bid for City of Culture 2029.

It hopes to capitalise on funding received from the Towns Fund to build a new city centre library and cultural site.

Peterborough is also one of 54 Arts Council England priority areas for investment.

City council cabinet member for culture Steve Allen believes the plan can deliver "huge benefits to the city for years to come”.

The strategy will be discussed by the council’s Communities Scrutiny Committee on September 28 before heading to the cabinet and full council for consideration.

Few of ACE's priority places are among the lowest funded

23 Sep 2021

Fifty-four priority areas for investment have high rates of deprivation and low cultural engagement, but some of the lowest funded regions have missed out.

What’s in a name?

Creative Lives Everyday Creativity Montage
22 Sep 2021

Does your organisation’s name need too much explanation? Pauline Tambling reflects on the process of changing an established brand name and offers insight for arts organisations embarking on a similar journey.

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.

Deprived areas benefit most from culture

group of people looking at art on a wall outside
15 Sep 2021

New research indicates cultural engagement improves wellbeing in England’s poorest areas the most, but unequal access remains a barrier to participation.

Giving circles and the arts

a border of hands reaching into the centre
14 Sep 2021

Philanthropy is sometimes described as a ‘privilege’ of the wealthiest. But, as Michelle Wright argues, research suggests that giving circles can provide a meaningful and empowering experience at all levels.

Co-designing a sustainable future for arts and higher education collaboration

still from a dance production
14 Sep 2021

While collaboration between the cultural sector and universities has never been more fruitful, Suzie Leighton and Kayla Rose know there are still significant barriers to overcome. 

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".

Curators of the future

exhibition and showcase
07 Sep 2021

Being disabled in the visual arts sector has presented galleries with serious challenges. But Mike Layward is optimistic about programmes which promote much needed change.

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.

Museums tackling loneliness

image of museum
01 Sep 2021

In rural areas such as Cornwall, the pandemic has exacerbated loneliness, with vulnerable people losing their sense of community. Emmie Kell thinks museums can be part of the solution.

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.

Call to patronise local museums as visitors favour big name sites

19 Aug 2021

Museums have not yet returned to full strength despite restrictions lifting. The challenges for smaller and larger sites this summer differ.

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