Spain offers 18-year-olds cultural vouchers

29 Mar 2022

18-year-olds in Spain will receive €400 (£335) in culture vouchers to spend on the arts this year.

Approved by the Spanish government last week, The Youth Cultural Bonus can be spent on festivals, live events, books, vinyl and digital music.

Vouchers must be split across cultural mediums, with a €200 (£170) spending cap on live events and festivals, a €100 (£85) limit for physical products and a €100 limit for digital products.

The project aims to generate new habits of cultural consumption, create new audiences and reduce the negative impact caused by the pandemic on the country's cultural sector, according to a statement from the Spanish government website.

The initiative follows similar examples in France and Italy, where 18-year-olds receive €300 (£250) and €500 (£450) respectively to put towards cultural spending.

Ukrainian museum destroyed in airstrike

29 Mar 2022

Russian airstrikes on the Ukrainian coastal city of Mariupol have destroyed the Kuindzhi Art Museum.

Open since 2010, the museum was devoted to the life and work of local realist painter Arkhip Kuindzhi.

Writing on Facebook, Chairman of Ukraine’s artist union Konstantin Chernyavsky vowed the museum will one day be rebuilt.

The attack follows the bombing of a Mariupol theatre the week before, which is believed to have killed 300 people, making it the deadliest single attack since the war began.

Search on for potential UNESCO World Heritage sites

28 Mar 2022

DCMS is asking places to put themselves forward for UNESCO World Heritage status.

Bids are reviewed every 10 years by a panel of heritage experts and "only locations with the potential to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List will be put forward to formal nomination," the department says.

A tentative list of sites that currently includes Scottish Flow Country and Gracehill in Northern Ireland will be updated later this year and given to the World Heritage Committee in 2024. 

There are currently 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK, including Stonehenge, The Tower of London, Hadrian's Wall and, more recently, the slate landscape of north west Wales. Liverpool lost its status last year due to development on its waterfront.

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston encouraged applications: "As well as international acclaim, UNESCO status boosts tourism and creates employment and economic growth opportunities."

British Council restructure threatens sector, strikers say

24 Mar 2022

Plans to cut arts jobs will irreversibly damage the organisation, workers say, as their union calls the consultation “severely problematic”.

UNESCO's Creative Cities

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride filmed in Bristol
23 Mar 2022

UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network includes 13 UK cities. Karen Merkel shines a spotlight on a programme which demands international collaboration.

Museums uninterested in Saudi culture pact

14 Mar 2022

A recent pact between culture ministers in the UK and Saudi Arabia has sparked little interest among major museums.

A memorandum of understanding signed last month was light on detail, but involves plans for collaborations in film and the museums and heritage sectors.

The British Council says it is working with the Saudi ministry of culture on new artist residencies.

But the Tate, British Museum and V&A are not involved in any collaborations. 

The Art Newspaper suggests Saudi Arabia's blighted human rights record might be dissuading British institutions.

New Chinese art fellowship to launch

14 Mar 2022

A postdoctoral fellowship in Chinese and Sinophone contemporary art will provide a "unique opportunity", its funders say.

Asymmetry Art Foundation and The Courtauld have partnered on the two-year grant for early career academics, their first collaboration.

Two fellows will be mentored by The Courtauld's Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, Dr Wenny Teo and be involved in a lecture series and international symposium.

Courtauld Director Marit Rausing said the initiative is part of "our continuing efforts to decentre and decolonise the curriculum".

A call for applicants will open soon with the first fellow selected by the summer.

Brighton dance company launches US arm

09 Mar 2022

Brighton-based Parable Dance has launched a sister company in New York.

The company, which delivers inclusive workshops and classes for disabled people, is renaming itself as Parable Dance UK as it expands.

Co-Founders Natasha Britton and Erica Moshman will lead on the UK and US arms of the business respectively.

Their methods have proved popular abroad - they have also been asked to deliver training in Norway.

"We are thrilled that within just over two years we've expanded enough to be able to take this exciting step," Britton said.

"The UK are seen as leaders in inclusive dance approaches and we feel proud to be able to take these methods to the US, to support the next generations of dancers and teachers there."

Partnership pursues artists' innovation network

08 Mar 2022

A cross-cultural network for artists' archives will be pursued under a new international partnership.

UK charity Art360 Foundation and US non-profit, the Hauser & Wirth Institute, plan to develop the Expanded Archives Network, building on a professional network established by Art360 in 2019.

The partners say it will platform independent artists and preserve and present their archives for a wider audience. Membership of the network will be free.

Ellie Porter, Head of Programme at Art360, said much of the work to preserve cultural heritage remains invisible despite its "urgency and value".

Hauser & Wirth Executive Director Lisa Darns added: "Through supporting and connecting archivists globally, we hope to help elevate the status of this vital and progressive work in the broader art world."


Ukrainian artists: 'Screen our films'

07 Mar 2022

Here are five things you can do now to help arts workers from Ukraine (that aren't donating money).

European cultural community pledges support to Ukraine

07 Mar 2022

More than 49 major European cultural networks have pledged support to Ukraine’s sector in an open letter to policy makers.

Led by the European Theatre Convention, the letter urges national, European, and global stakeholders to make funds and other support available to Ukrainian arts organisations and professionals.

Signatories say they are ready to receive and host artists, stage performances, organise events and advocate for a peaceful solution to ongoing conflict.

Thousands of theatres, music venues, festivals, cinemas and arts organisations across Europe are represented in the letter.

“We stress that the European cultural sector is united and that you can count on us,” it reads.

Museums express 'deep concern' over Whitworth Gallery row

outside of Whitworth Gallery
03 Mar 2022

The planned removal of Alistair Hudson as director "speaks to the silencing of dissent", according to an international museum ethics watchdog.

Pressure on arts sector to cut Russian ties

02 Mar 2022

Cancellations abound in protest over the invasion in Ukraine as calls for a cultural boycott of "blood-drenched Russian money" grow louder.

Taking art to rural Europe

Magnitudini by Michela Paolini
01 Mar 2022

A unique organisation that works in the rural communities of Somerset has expanded its horizons to Europe. Ralph Lister shares the story.

Theatre of sanctuary

Curious Monkey's Arriving Group performing at Refugee Week 2021
22 Feb 2022

For Amy Golding, creating a new play starts with an encounter that sparks inspiration, followed by working with a community invited to share the journey.

UK and Saudi Arabia sign cultural MOU

09 Feb 2022

A memorandum of understanding between Saudi Arabia and the UK will strengthen cultural exchange between the countries.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and her counterpart, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, have agreed to closer collaboration, residency programmes and joint cultural projects under the non-binding deal.

It will also include cooperation to protect Saudi heritage.

10 million creative jobs lost worldwide

08 Feb 2022

"What was already a precarious situation for many artists has become unsustainable," UNESCO boss says, mooting labour law changes to protect the sector.

Helsinki to host next World Cities Culture Summit

31 Jan 2022

Helsinki will host the 10th World Cities Culture Summit, scheduled for October 5 to 7.

The Finnish capital is expected to welcome representatives from more than 40 cities for the first in-person summit since 2019.

The event's full programme is yet to be revealed, but a focus on reimagining cities to create sustainable and creative environments in the wake of the pandemic is likely.

World Cities Culture Forum Chair Justine Simons says the summit will embrace a new spirit of optimism and urgency.

“I am delighted that the wonderful city of Helsinki will be our host at this critical juncture.”

Mediating the ‘colonial gaze’

Image of the debating colonial photographs installation
25 Jan 2022

In times when the coloniality of many institutions is being called out, Paul Basu negotiates the ethics of displaying images and artworks gathered on a colonial expedition. 

World voices sing up

Richard Frostick delivers singing workshops for children in India.
25 Jan 2022

There’s widespread acknowledgement of the positive impact of singing on health and wellbeing. Celi Barberia outlines how a groundbreaking project is sharing these benefits with children from across the world.


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