Shetland Arts to offer voluntary redundancies 

22 Aug 2023

Shetland Arts has announced it is offering 15 staff voluntary redundancy in an attempt “to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies”.

The redundancies will be offered to staff at office and manager level. 

The organisation's trust said the measures were necessary due to its current financial situation, after commercial income failed to return to pre-Covid levels and emergency funding had ended, with costs “continuing to escalate”.

“This reduction in commercial income and increasing costs means the organisation needs to make savings,” a spokesperson for the trust said.

According to local press, total savings of around £318,000 need to be made, with around half of those savings found already.

NPO revenue from international activity halves

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing at Carnegie Hall in New York
08 Aug 2023

Arts Council England study finds international environment has become "increasingly complex" for English cultural organisations and practitioners to navigate.

Significant pay gaps for northern freelancers

05 Jul 2023

Freelance creative workers living in the North of the UK are suffering from three significant pay gaps, a new poll has found.

Recruitment agency Major Players polled 450 digital, marketing, product and creative workers in the Midlands, North East, North, West Yorkshire & the Humber and Scotland, and found pay gaps relating to gender, ethnicity and identity.

The poll found the pay skew in favour of men working within freelance roles in the north was “considerably higher” than the UK average, at 15.9%.

An ethnicity pay gap was also found on creative assignments, with Asian, Black, Mixed, Arabic or Other background freelancers earning an average of 7.1% less than their counterparts.

The poll also revealed LGBT+ freelancers in the north earned on average 7% less than the average UK day rates. This gap was also considerably higher than the UK average LGBT+ pay gap of 1.4%. 

The statistics underscore just one aspect of the challenges faced by minority freelancers, George Greenaway-Poole, Major Player’s Group Marketing Director wrote on LinkedIn.

“I saw a recent statistic which said that more than 35% of the LGBTQIA+ community hide their sexuality at work in fear of negativity or discrimination,” he said.

He added that for those who were ‘out’, repeatedly sharing aspects of their identities can be “emotionally draining”.

He suggested that businesses could help alleviate the pressures on LGBT+ workers by asking people for their pronouns, using inclusive language and gender-neutral terms and including visual cues in work settings, such as hanging rainbow flags.

LEEDS 2023 director rejects 'damp squib' criticism

LEEDS 2023 Creative Director and CEO Kully Thiarai (left) with Chair Gabby Logan
28 Jun 2023

Organisers of cultural festival point towards 90% positive feedback to delivered events, and engagement across all the city’s wards, in response to concerns the event is becoming a missed opportunity.

Artists' resale royalties reach £2.3m in first quarter

05 Jun 2023

Over £2.3m was paid to 873 artists and artists’ estates in Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) royalties by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the first quarter of the year.

Of the 873 recipients, 53 were paid ARR royalty for the first time. The median payment for the quarter was £280, with over 60% of all royalties under £500.

£120m has been paid out in total to 5,900 artists and estates since 2006, when the right became UK law.

DACS Chief Executive Christian Zimmermann said ARR is a vital source of income for artists working in the UK.

“We know from our members how important these payments are to artists who use their royalties for living expenses, materials and studio space – helping sustain their practice,” Zimmerman added.

“Estates often use the money for cataloguing, archiving and restoration – making sure that the legacies of British artists are preserved for future generations."

Natural History Museum 'sorry' for National Conservatism event

A Blue Whale skeleton mounted in Hintze Hall of the Natural History Museum
02 Jun 2023

Institution distances itself from 'hateful rhetoric' expressed at private dinner held at the museum by rightwing thinktank, and apologises for not calling out a tweet 'that minimised the horrors of the Holocaust'.

Universal Credit system 'punitive' towards creatives

Silhouette of an artist as they stand in front of a canvas painting
30 May 2023

Research calls for Universal Credit system to be overhauled after finding creatives are unable to pay for essentials.

Royal Opera House seeks income boost through brand licensing drive

Exterior view of the Royal Opera House at night
26 May 2023

Efforts by the Royal Opera House to generate additional income in the wake of cut to its Arts Council England funding will focus on 'new commercial activities' and 'brand exploitation'.

Hampstead Theatre announces first post-NPO programme

Hampstead Theatre
18 May 2023

Despite loss of Arts Council funding, theatre is continuing to commission new plays in a new era driven by ticket sales, commercial income and philanthropic support.

Unions calls for further ACE investment in ENO

04 May 2023

A coalition of trade unions are calling on Arts Council England (ACE) to produce a “realistic strategy” for the future of English National Opera (ENO), alongside additional funding.

Last month, ACE announced an additional £24m will be granted to ENO - after it lost its National Portfolio status - to help the opera house establish a main base outside London.

The Musicians' Union, Equity and Bectu have raised concerns about the viability of that amount of funding meeting ACE’s objectives and allowing ENO to maintain its output.

In a joint statement, the unions accused ACE of “failing to factor in the significant associated costs of establishing a new base in a new city”, while also raising concerns on the impact several premises will have on staff.

They added that stretching the funding across two premises would impact the amount of opera ENO can produced and deliver, causing a knock-on effect on income streams and ticket sales.

“We need commitment from ACE to work with the unions and the ENO on a thorough and realistic plan for the company,” Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said.

“One that sets it up for future success and protects the livelihood of its staff and freelancers.” 

Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming added: “If ‘levelling up’ is real and not just a populist ploy, we have to see a settlement which provides for good jobs at the current London base, with additional funding to create new work opportunities around a regional home for the ENO.” 

Navigating the challenges of digitisation and museums

Cornwall Museums Partnership Beyond Digitisation Project. 3D models of a costume collection.
03 May 2023

Digitising collections is an ongoing challenge for museums, as evidenced in the latest National Museum Partnership reportFiona Morris and Charlotte Morgan discuss the potential of cross-cultural and technical partnerships as a solution.

How can arts organisations improve online giving?

People sat together around a black table in an office. They are smiling and laughing. On the table, there is a mug, post-it notes, and a notebook.
02 May 2023

In the competitive field of fundraising, digital gift giving has been experiencing a boom, as Stephanie Clark explains.

Most artists make a loss on music releases, research finds

02 May 2023

Most independent artists who promote their own music releases make a loss, according to new research.  

The research by Pirate.com, a global music studio hosting 350,000 artists worldwide, found that 75% of musicians who spend money on promoting releases don't make it back. 

Over 1,000 live musicians, producers, rappers and MCs from the UK and US were asked how they promote their music.

Of these, 91% said they did so without the support of a label or manager.

Of the musicians surveyed 54% said they use social media for self-promotion, with 56% of these using it everyday.

The research highlights the increasing need for musicians to create additional, visual content in order to promote their work.

More than half (56%) of music creators said they will make visuals for their next release.

Dan Davis, Head of Community at Pirate.com, said: "Making music in the social media age means constantly jumping on new promotional trends.

"However, making content is rarely free and new revenue sources for artists aren’t emerging at the same rate as new trends."

'Highly desirable' Riverside Studios put up for sale

25 Apr 2023

The arts venue in Hammersmith, whose operators recently called in the administrators, has been put on the market.

DCMS study questions 'digital capacity' of museum sector

A virtual exhibition
24 Apr 2023

Report into partnership activities undertaken by the national museums raises questions about the capacity for and value of post-pandemic digital provision.

How to be an LGBTQIA+ ally

Northern Pride 2019 with rainbow flag
24 Apr 2023

In response to Covid, Phil Douglas developed a training offshoot that was not only a financial lifeline but an essential resource for raising LGTBQIA+ awareness. 

Redundancies at National Science and Media Museum

National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, with a statue of J. B. Priestley in front.
19 Apr 2023

The museum is set to close for 13 months to undergo a £6m upgrade, resulting in more than 20 front-facing staff being made redundant.

Income generation is harder than ever

Royal Shakespeare Theatre view over River Avon, 2015.
18 Apr 2023

All arts organisations are under pressure to diversify income. In the latest in our series of case studies looking at strategies being adopted to tackle this, Catherine Mallyon shares her insights from the RSC.

A systematic approach to ‘making the ask’

Graphic of the 5 Ps: Passion, Proposal, Preparation, Persuasion and Persistence - showing cogs interlocking
29 Mar 2023

Making the ask, in person, to a major donor can be one of the most stressful parts of fundraising. Bernard Ross summarises the five key steps to making a successful solicitation – or ask – for a major gift. 

Artists 'earning £2.60 an hour', study finds

A woman painting in an art studio
14 Mar 2023

The Structurally F-cked report presents a stark picture of underpaid, overworked artists in the UK's publicly-funded visual arts sector.

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