Emotional resilience is the key skill for 2022

Community and peer support can be essential to a resilient team
19 Jan 2022

While many arts and culture organisations are concerned about their financial viability, emotional resilience will also be essential to seeing out the pandemic, argues Robin Cantrill-Fenwick.

Orchestra refresh helped 'progress our ambitions', ETO says

08 Dec 2021

Disappointment was "inevitable" when the English Touring Opera (ETO) diversified its orchestra, its management says.

The organisation has offered a belated response to criticism from the Musicians' Union (MU) over its decision to cut 13 of its long-contracted freelance musicians in September.

ETO says open auditions were held for the first time in many years because the orchestra was exclusively made up of people who played on previous seasons or were recommended by them.

"We also felt that this would help us to progress our ambitions in the fields of equality, diversity and inclusivity in the workplace," a statement released on Wednesday (December 8) reads.

44 musicians were auditioned out of 266 applicants and selections were "based solely on those musicians’ capabilities, on the grounds of excellence only".

"With so many high-quality players in the pool it was inevitable that some would be disappointed," ETO said.

It plans to repeat the process next summer: "In advance of that, we plan to consult widely with other performing companies, and relevant industry organisations, including the MU, so that we can provide further reassurance of equal and fair treatment."

Half of creative Kickstart roles filled

02 Dec 2021

The flagship scheme to address youth unemployment has been hamstrung by red tape and low demand, but is still "really positive for our sector".

Digital staff undervalued amid pandemic pressures

17 Nov 2021

Research into the effect of the digital pivot on workers has coincided with calls for better pay for social media and marketing staff.

Barbican pledges diversity targets to address racist culture

11 Nov 2021

A third of claims made against the institution related to racism, but "very few" people of colour were interviewed by lawyers as distrust of the directorate marred the investigation. 

ArtsEd admits sexualised culture worsened by 'failure in leadership'

27 Oct 2021

Principal Chris Hocking has resigned so the drama school can show "how serious we are about transforming our culture" this academic year.

Stories of racism at the Barbican 'ring true', Gompertz says

25 Oct 2021

Stories of institutional racism at the Barbican Centre "ring true to me", Will Gompertz has said.

The Interim Managing Director, promoted following Nicholas Kenyon's resignation in June, told The Times he'd heard similar accounts to those published in Barbican Stories during his time at the BBC.

“It’s been clear to me for years that the subsidised arts didn’t really reflect the communities they said they were serving. I did several reports for the BBC on that and spoke to practitioners of colour who said the game was rigged.

"The arts have been too slow to respond to how the world is changing, too slow to open up and include. They have been good at the rhetoric but not good at the delivery.”

Gompertz is now charged with making that change at the Barbican. He rejected reports of a toxic atmosphere causing mass resignations in recent months.

"The Barbican is full of dedicated staff who care deeply about the place.”

A review into the centre's culture and practices is under way.

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".

Over a third of music industry jobs lost in 2020

20 Oct 2021

69,000 music jobs – one in three of the total workforce – were lost last year due to Covid-19, UK Music’s annual report into the music industry has revealed.

The industry’s economic contribution to the UK fell by 46%, largely due to the cancellation of festivals and live music events.

The report also notes that in a sector where three-quarters are self-employed, many workers were not covered by income support schemes.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is calling on the Government to implement tax incentives for the industry and boost funding for music education and the self-employed.

"In a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry.

"With the right support, the UK music industry can help drive the post-pandemic recovery."

Trainee scheme to be catalyst for theatre careers

11 Oct 2021

Donmar Warehouse plans to recruit 13 paid trainees under a new career development programme.

Catalyst trainees will work in either creative or administrative roles. Special focus will be given to talent currently underrepresented in the industry, such as working class and D/deaf and disabled artists.

Trainees will be mentored by leading creatives and members of the Donmar Warehouse team.

Director Nadia Latif said most theatre artists understand the importance of opening access to people "who look like us or share our backgrounds".

"Theatre making should be transparent, accessible, and our rehearsal rooms should bustle with a multitude of people with totally different life experiences feeding each other creatively and taking care of one another."

Arts companies struggle to recruit as vacancies surge

07 Oct 2021

Organisations are finding themselves in bidding wars over a shrinking pool of quality candidates. Is this the start of a talent drain?

Optimism with a side of caution

06 Oct 2021

Nadine Dorries is a gift horse the cultural sector shouldn't look in the mouth.

Isolation exemption for artists reintroduced

01 Oct 2021

Arts professionals returning to England after working abroad need not self-isolate.

The exemption for workers returning from amber but not red list countries has been reintroduced. An initial scheme was suspended in January.

Organisations must submit an application to Arts Council England on their worker's behalf, and the worker must carry a signed copies of the application and their exemption letter with them at all times.

The Musicians' Union said the amount of information and time needed to get an exemption was prohibitive.

"Any last-minute gigs that musicians often accept means they may well have to self-isolate on return to the UK regardless."

Half victory for Arts Council England in disability discrimination case

22 Sep 2021

The funder has been cleared of indirect discrimination but its lawyer admits "there was perhaps a lack of a full understanding" about its own recruitment policy.

When best intentions backfire?

16 Sep 2021

In trying to diversify its company, English Touring Opera shot itself - and 14 freelancers - in the foot.

Need to diversify, but can’t find the staff?

two women shaking hands
14 Sep 2021

As arts organisations struggle to fill critical roles, Amanda Parker shares must-dos - and must don’ts - for those hoping to recruit a talented, experienced and inclusive workforce. 

Tie funding to compliance with employment law, MPs say

14 Sep 2021

The sector and its funders must adopt measurable diversity targets or risk losing "an entire generation of talent".

London invests £1.3m into creative jobs

10 Sep 2021

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £1.3m for the city's Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZs) as part of a plan to double the size of the scheme.

Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham's zones will share £1.1m - £450,000 from the CEZs scheme and £650,000 from the city's final European Social Fund grant. The councils will contribute the remaining £200,000.

Each will pursue a project to increase training, infrastructure and mentoring opportunities that support creative careers.

'Win Creative Croydon' will provide training for music industry roles.

In Lambeth, 'Brixton Creative Works' will provide specialist training to business owners wanting to support early career creatives, as well as career fairs and mentoring.

And 'Inspire Lewisham' will work with partners at Lewisham College, Goldsmiths University and The Albany to teach music and coding to creatives from underrepresented backgrounds.

White-led Chinese art gallery vows to change

09 Sep 2021

A lack of leadership, engagement and morale has caused an exodus of staff and reputational crisis - but the centre's position is "redeemable".

Open letter ‘stands in solidarity’ with Frankcom

06 Sep 2021

An open letter to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) board says it "stands in solidarity" with its ex-Director Sarah Frankcom following her resignation in August.

More than 100 signatories shared their disappointment. They said their trust in the board has been damaged and that Franckom has not "been supported as she should have been".

The letter alleges a lack of accountability in the ongoing investigation into Frankcom's leadership.

It says interviews with internal staff have begun "without an adequate, transparent record of minutes" and alleges Chairman Shaun Woodward has called up staff off record.

At the time of publication, the letter had been co-signed by 24 of LAMDA’s permanent staff, 43 of its freelance practitioners, associate artists and visiting directors and 33 industry professionals. 

LAMDA, which is conducting an inquiry into claims against Franckom, declined to comment.

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