What the arts can learn from LEGO

Lego bricks
30 May 2024

We've come a long way from the difficulties of recent years, and some key metrics are starting to show a positive trend. But we’re not out of the woods yet, writes David Reece

Gender pay gap progess in some creative sectors

Two dancers standing behind a red stage curtain
19 Jun 2024

New data show that in some cultural and creative subsectors including music, performance and visual arts, women outearned men in 2023. 

Concerns of 'digital divide' across cultural organisations

A cultural organisation's website seen via a mobile phone
17 May 2024

Research finds a 'huge range of effectiveness' between different cultural organisations when it comes to web pages focused on similar goals. 

Philanthropy is about empathy

Children get creative with clay
02 May 2024

In the first of our series looking at the role of philanthropy in arts funding, Caroline McCormick of the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation argues that the financial plight of our cultural institutions is undermining their huge impact.

Philanthropy in 2024: More questions than answers

Abstract painting
30 Apr 2024

As activity this year gathers pace, Michelle Wright explores the many quandaries arts organisations have to navigate in deciding where to focus their fundraising efforts.

LA funding survey: Commercial mindset increasingly important

25 Apr 2024

Business acumen within arts organisations is necessary in the face of local authority funding cuts, survey findings suggest.

Majority of artists in South West earn less than £10,000

Female painter draws picture with paintbrush on canvas for outdoor street exhibition
24 Apr 2024

Fewer than half of visual artists in the South West have been commissioned to create new work in the past year survey finds.

The art of the turnaround

Image of Watershed in Bristol
18 Apr 2024

In light of the huge challenges that so many arts and culture organisations have faced in recent years, Watershed’s Clare Reddington shares five ‘rules’ for turning your organisation round.

Music licensing body reports record income for 2023

11 Apr 2024

Income generated from the use of recorded music in public places topped £283.5m last year, up 4% from 2022 - the highest level ever recorded by music licensing body PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited).

PPL said the increase was driven by an uplift in income from using recorded music in public places such as shops, bars, nightclubs, offices, and factories, which was up 11% to over £111m in 2023.

Meanwhile, international revenue collected by PPL for the use of members’ music worldwide reached £75.4m.

After operating costs and other deductions, the amount passed on to PPL members and other Collective Management Organisations grew by 5% year on year, with the cost as a percentage of revenue reducing from 13.3% to 13% in the previous year. 

Peter Leathem, CEO of PPL, said: "In these somewhat precarious times for performers, we are proud to deliver a consistent stream of income for them and recording rights holders - over £1bn distributed in the past five years alone. As the world leader in international collections, we will continue to advocate for neighbouring rights in new markets to maximise revenue opportunities for all our members.”  

A brighter future for entrepreneurs and opportunity-seekers

Abstract image of signal and noise
08 Apr 2024

Now more than ever it’s important to focus on the things that really matter, to free ourselves of distractions and to identify earned income opportunities, says Robin Cantrill-Fenwick.

Bristol Beacon reports post-renovation ticket sales surge

An event being staged at Bristol Beacon
18 Mar 2024

Nearly 100,000 tickets have been sold for forthcoming shows at the recently reopened venue, following a £132m renovation.

Uncle Vanya NT Live takes over £1m

28 Feb 2024

The NT Live cinema release of Uncle Vanya starring Andrew Scott has taken over £1m in UK and Ireland box office sales since its release on 22 February.

Premiering at 737 venues, Uncle Vanya had the widest release of any NT Live production, taking £768,872 in a single night, rising to over £1m by the end of the weekend. It is the biggest success for NT Live since Empire Street Production’s Prima Facie, featuring a solo performance by Jodie Comer.

Uncle Vanya, which played sold-out runs at Richmond Theatre and Duke of York's Theatre last autumn, saw Golden Globe nominee Scott take on all the roles in a 105-minute adaptation of Chekov's classic play. The show was produced by Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon.

Frazer: Philanthropy 'key to widening arts access'

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer at the National Gallery
29 Jan 2024

Culture Secretary says the denigration of corporate sponsorship and donations needs to end if arts and culture institutions are to get the financial support they need.

UK visual artists earn £10m in royalties during 2023

29 Jan 2024

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) has announced that it distributed £10.1m in Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) royalties in 2023.

The sum was split between 1,893 visual artists and estates, 228 of which were first-time payments to artists whose works had only recently begun selling above the threshold value of  €1,000 on the secondary market.

ARR was introduced into UK law in 2006. Since then, DACS has paid a total of over £125m in resale royalties, benefiting 6,121 artists and estates. 

Christian Zimmermann, DACS Chief Executive, said: “These monies recognise both artists' and estates' contributions to our society and the economy, with an art market worth £9.5bn and our creative industries contributing £116bn to UK GDP.

“Royalties go beyond financial transactions - they are essential catalysts for reinvestment, empowering artists to create and estates to preserve the artist's enduring legacy."

Record profits for music venue group

26 Jan 2024

A company that owns a nationwide chain of music venues has announced record profits for the 2023 financial year.

The Electric Group owns and operates live music venues, including Electric Brixton, SWX Bristol and NX Newcastle.

The company reported earnings of £1.98m for 2023, up from £1.04m in 2022 and £1.36m for the year before the pandemic.

It is hoping to expand its operations and is assessing the viability of three new venues.

The company, which bought the freehold to the Leadmill in Sheffield in 2017, has been embroiled in a prolonged dispute with the historic club's managers after serving them with an eviction notice in 2022.

Electric Group CEO Dominic Madden commented: “As a company we embody the spirit of independence. We thrive on collaboration, working hand-in-hand with artists, fans, and partners to foster a music community that dares to be different.

“It’s not just about preserving history, it’s about breathing fresh vitality into every venue. We embrace innovation and consistently seek ways to invigorate oculturally significantant venues. We are delighted with the outstanding financial results of our company.

"We are delighted with the outstanding financial results of our company. Although we have had some unique challenges to deal with in the post Covid era including dealing with the catastrophic arson attack at SWX Bristol, the demand for live music and our curated approach to music programming of events is unabated."

Legacy income 'growth area for arts charities'

View inside the Royal Opera House
21 Dec 2023

Only five arts and culture organisations feature among the top 1,000 UK charities by legacy income, but experts highlight potential for significant growth in this field. 

Mendes theatre fund to support mid-career professionals

Assistant stage manager Teresa Morrow applies finishing touches to a costume worn by actor Sara Billeaux.
20 Nov 2023

Pilot programme designed to address a 'huge shift' in the creative workforce towards film and tv launches.

Spending down: Opportunity or risk?

Calculator on phone while person does finance, business, audit and accounts
15 Nov 2023

In spending down their assets, trusts and foundations are making a strategic change of direction which could pose a threat to the charity sector, says Ben Wilson.

Funded organisations diversify income in Northern Ireland

Aerial view of Belfast
14 Nov 2023

Arts Council of Northern Ireland says increase in organisations leveraging investment from new sources is “positive news” amid “pressured and complicated funding picture”.

DACS pays out £2.6m in third quarter of 2023

23 Oct 2023

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) distributed more than £2.6m in Artist's Resale Right (ARR) royalties from July to September this year.

The figure brings DACS’ total royalties paid to artists and estates so far this year to almost £7.5m.

Median ARR payment in the third quarter was £280, with more than 60% of royalties under £500.

Of the 862 artists and artists’ estates receiving royalties during the third quarter of the year, 53 artists were paid ARR for the first time.

Since the right to ARR became law in 2006, DACS has now paid out almost £123m to 6,079 artists and estates.

DACS Chief Executive Christian Zimmermann commented “ARR is more than just a royalty payment”.

“For many artists and estates, it is an enduring connection between artists and the evolving ownership of their works; simultaneously creating a robust and transparent provenance trail, adding depth to the stories behind each work.”


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