Support local arts this Christmas, ACNI says

15 Dec 2021

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) is urging people to support their local artists and arts venues this Christmas.

More than half of the country's cultural workforce remains at significant risk of redundancy, according to the findings of a recent taskforce.

People who are yet to use their £100 Spend Local cards should consider spending it on the arts, ACNI Director of Development Noirin McKinney said.

The council offers interest free loans for art and musical instrument purchases, or people could buy gig and theatre tickets or book themselves on a creative course for the new year.

"There's much to choose from and I would encourage everyone to spend local this festive season," McKinney added.

'Catastrophic' collapse in attendance under Plan B

15 Dec 2021

It's estimated nearly £2bn has been lost from music venues since last week's announcement.

Omicron has little impact on theatre sales

08 Dec 2021

Against fears the new variant might scare off audiences, data suggests ticketing and income has remained steady so far.

Breaking down class barriers

four actors performing on stage
01 Dec 2021

Performing arts students from working class backgrounds face considerable barriers to entering the theatre profession. Andrew Muir has set up a programme to address this.

A pernicious culture of unpaid work

a girl watches a pottery demonstration
25 Nov 2021

For a sector that’s for and by people, why do we find it so hard to invest in the very thing that makes us? asks Sara Whybrew.

Half of arts sector jobs were furloughed

18 Nov 2021

The cultural sector has suffered a 60% drop in economic output over the past 18 months, a University of Sheffield study reveals.

Restrictions led to 55% of sector jobs being furloughed - well above the national average of 16% - and more than 80,000 arts professionals applied to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

This amounts to 68% of eligible freelancers in the UK.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin said the study highlights the "catastrophic effect" of the lockdowns on arts workers' finances, job security and wellbeing.

"People in the sector have been losing sleep and have had much higher levels of anxiety."

Collection societies sign service agreement extension

11 Nov 2021

Collection societies Performing Right Society (PRS) and Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS) have signed a simplified service agreement to the end of 2025.

The pair say the deal will save on administrative costs for rightsholders and make the licensing process easier. 

PRS and the MPA Group, owners of MCPS, collectively represent the rights of over 185,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers globally.

“Our partnership with MCPS dates back almost 25 years. In that time, the music landscape has changed vastly and continues to do so,” said PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin.

“We are looking forward to continuing our vital work with MCPS, as we strive to optimise our partnerships and joint ventures to maximise member income.”

CMA to assess music streaming market

20 Oct 2021

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a study into the UK’s music streaming market.

The watchdog will probe the dominance of major record labels and music streaming platforms including Spotify to assess whether artists are getting a fair deal.

Streaming now accounts for more than four-fifths of UK music consumption, according to the BPI.

CMA's annoucement follows its ongoing investigation into Sony Music’s recent merger, which raised concerns of a “a substantial lessening of competition”, and a DCMS Committee inquiry into streaming's effect on artists.

The decision was welcomed by Committee Chair Julian Knight, who has previously supported calls for an official investigation.

“Our investigation exposed fundamental problems within the structure of the music industry itself. This action marks a key step forward.”

Essex to launch local arts recovery fund

19 Oct 2021

Essex County Council will launch a local Arts and Cultural Recovery Fund next month.

The fund is geared towards recovery and development post-pandemic, benefitting organisations that support artistic and cultural work.

Graham Butland, the council’s cabinet minister for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture, has not revealed the size of the fund but said it is “significant”.

He confirmed a key focus will be supporting small grassroots organisations.

“The arts is something the county council left the stage a few years ago and we want to back in there.”

Local authorities' culture offer hinges on Spending Review

14 Oct 2021

Councils call for an extra £400,000 funding for arts and culture as venues in smaller authorities face life-threatening cuts.

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.

15,000 jobs lost from late night cultural events

12 Oct 2021

The night-time cultural economy has lost 86,000 jobs due to Covid-19, 15,000 of them in culture and arts events.

Defined as a third party providing events, the night-time cultural economy has suffered more than the wider night-time economy and the out-of-home leisure economy as a whole.

A new report from the Night Time Industries Association says the culture and arts subsector - museums, galleries, theatres, music venues and cinemas - had grown faster than other parts of the night time cultural economy, accounting for nearly 200,000 jobs in 2019.

However, it lost £36bn in trade over the 18 months to June - more than 100% of its pre-pandemic value.

This section of the economy contributes 1.64% of GDP, "but also to the health, well-being and sangfroid of the population as a whole," the report says.

"It is felt quite strongly that the night time cultural economy bats much higher than just its economic contribution."

Tech enabling creativity

06 Oct 2021

One of the most powerful things to emerge during the pandemic is the importance of the arts to our wellbeing. Gilane Tawadros says the visual arts – and artists in particular - can play a critical role in post-pandemic recovery.

Equity warns of hardship over Universal Credit cut

21 Sep 2021

Performers face financial hardship if the Government proceeds with plans to cut a £20 per week Universal Credit uplift.

53% of Equity members in a new survey said the policy would hurt them.

41% said they would be unable to meet essential costs, with a third unable to continue seeking work in the industry.

Equity believes the cut will have an even more pronounced impact on younger talent, underrepresented groups and those from working class backgrounds.

"These changes to Universal Credit will plunge thousands of Equity members into poverty or force them to leave the profession,” Equity’s Lead Tax and Welfare Rights Official Alan Lean said.

The union has called on the Government to abandon the proposed cut, scheduled to come into effect October 6.

126,000 events industry jobs lost to Covid-19

08 Sep 2021

93% of organisers have changed their business models in response to the pandemic but a full recovery isn't expected until 2023 at the earliest.

Danger for smaller pantos as sales lag by £23m

02 Sep 2021

A decline in group bookings - mostly from schools - is driving a loss in income that is expected to hit smaller producers hardest.

Creative and cultural industries generated £150bn pre-pandemic

01 Sep 2021

The UK's creative and cultural industries generated £150.4bn in 2019, according to new data.

DCMS figures show the industries' value grew by 8.3% in the year from 2018, adding £11.5bn to the economy before the pandemic hit.

While the creative industries' value continues to dwarf the cultural sector's at £155.8bn, cultural businesses generated nearly £36bn in 2019 - more than gambling and sport combined (£8.3bn and £16.9bn respectively).

Among all DCMS sectors, culture drew the largest proportion of its value from London. Activity in the capital added £2.2bn more to the economy in 2019 - a 10% rate of growth.

The sector's gross value added grew by 6% in all other regions except the West Midlands, where it fell by about £1m.


New tax rules could cause cashflow woes for freelancers

19 Aug 2021

The proposed changes would mean increased admin for the self-employed and a supersized tax bill in 2023.

Project leaks artist pay rates to force transparency

11 Aug 2021

The project has highlighted a race to the bottom on freelancers' fees as artists share their "incredibly bad experiences".

South Bank arts venues' economic impact down £330m, report claims

12 Jul 2021

Five major UK arts institutions are appealing for public and private investment after losing half their income due to Covid-19.


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