Free to speak? Not if you work in the arts

A photo of statues of angels, one with a gag over its mouth
20 Feb 2020

As ArtsProfessional unveils the explosive findings from its recent Freedom of Expression survey, Liz Hill examines the soul of a sector that believes it is owed artistic freedom but doesn’t tolerate freedom of speech within its own ranks.

Head to head: can a toolkit solve the sector’s class problem?

14 Nov 2019

This year Jerwood Arts published a toolkit for cultural organisations, designed to encourage greater socio-economic diversity in the arts. Julie Lomax, Chief Executive of a-n The Artists Information Company, sees it as a starting point for helping solve the sector’s ‘class crisis’ – but arts consultant Chrissie Tiller isn’t so sure.

Welsh Culture and Race Taskforce launched

06 Jul 2020

The collective seeks to influence decision makers and put race at the forefront of the sector’s recovery, but the Arts Council of Wales says it won’t fund a group ‘set up to lobby us’.

Drama School head falls on his sword

Central School of Speech and Drama
12 Jun 2020

Professor Gavin Henderson has apologised for “the lived experiences of students of colour” and his racist comments during his time as Principal of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Race Equality Commission to review Equity’s anti-racism activities

rear view of protestors on an anti racism march holding banners
28 May 2020

The Commission will be asking fundamental questions about how the union organises, represents and fights for Black and minority ethnic workers, hoping to achieve reconciliation after a recent period of acrimony.

Equality still a distant dream in publishing, report finds

three women sitting at a table with laptops chatting and smiling
07 May 2020

Tokenistic diversity schemes, middle-class professional networks and a heavy London bias in the literary and publishing industries mean nothing less than sweeping changes will be needed for the talent of working class writers to be recognised.

Why are arts workers always pigeonholed?

A photo of a large group of people throwing juggling clubs and hoops in the air
20 Apr 2020

By labelling people as either creators or administrators the sector is losing out on a host of valuable skills, says Rachel Griffiths.

Why hitting diversity targets won’t make your organisation inclusive

An ethnically diverse group of young people gathered around a table
09 Apr 2020

Inclusion means ensuring workers can fulfil their potential, regardless of their background, identity or circumstance. Is now the time to re-think your organisation’s culture, asks Sara Whybrew.

How we can stop infantilising disabled artists?

A photo of a performance including an actor in a wheelchair
31 Mar 2020

Age-old paternalistic attitudes will persist unless disabled people lead change themselves, says Vici Wreford-Sinnott.

Museum freelancers to sector: ‘Fight for us’

23 Mar 2020

UK museums, libraries, galleries and archives must “visibly and robustly stand up for freelancers who they frequently depend so greatly on”.

Mounting pressure to protect freelancers' income

23 Mar 2020

Surveys say 70% fear they can't pay the bills, 60% expect their income to halve and 50% have lost all their scheduled work.

Time to ditch old-school approaches to audience development

A photo of a smartphone being held up in a concert audience
12 Mar 2020

Technocratic, old-school approaches to building audiences have only worked among privileged groups. The sector needs to think harder about what people actually want, says Anne Torreggiani.

When your audience is also part of the crew

A photo of a village hall with tables of people sitting down
12 Mar 2020

Working with rural communities to stage small-scale performances is good for the arts, the environment and local people, writes Sophie Motley.

'New artists' don't have to be young

A photo of women and men holding pom-poms
12 Mar 2020

The arts sector must do more to include older people, not only as consumers but also as creators of culture, says Stella Duffy.

ArtsProfessional meets… Robert Lepage

05 Mar 2020

What happens when an internationally acclaimed theatre producer is accused of cultural insensitivity? He puts on another production – about another nation’s culture, writes Amanda Parker.

'Overambitious' about placemaking? We've only just started...

05 Mar 2020

The Great Place Scheme demonstrates how projects flourish when official bodies allow them freedom from pre-determined outcomes, says Jill Cole.

How community engagement can change your life

A photo of people dancing and a woman reading from a sheet
05 Mar 2020

We can only change our local communities if we’re willing to change ourselves, says Carol Jones.

Five ways music education policy must change

A photo of a group of young people playing percussion
05 Mar 2020

It’s time to turn up the volume on the needs and interests of young people, says Carol Reid.

Process, pay and ping-pong: what the arts can learn from corporate business

A photo of a ping pong bat on a table by a whiteboard
05 Mar 2020

If arts leaders refuse to invest in their staff, do their organisations really deserve to survive? Alex Marshall calls for more support for the sector's workforce.

Arts Council of Wales: ‘Don’t tell us you’re underfunded’

03 Mar 2020

Welsh arts organisations have been told to model for a 10% funding cut amid the council’s drive to reach new audiences.

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