Governance beyond the ‘great and the good’

13 Oct 2021

Our sector is supported by trustees and directors who, through their passion and skills, have stepped up to support organisations when the need has been greatest. But, as Jonathan Mayes argues, our boards could do better.

Is DCMS any longer fit for purpose?

photo of Nadine Dorries
28 Sep 2021

While the appointment of Nadine Dorries to lead DCMS has been greeted with widespread dismay by the cultural sector, Robert Hewison reflects on a deeper malaise at the heart of Government.

Time to challenge the hierarchies

Rampak Genteng
10 Sep 2020

With the creativity of communities finally becoming a policy priority, arts organisations could be handing more control over to their communities. Adam Pushkin explains why – and how – that could work.

Free to speak? Not if you work in the arts

A photo of statues of angels, one with a gag over its mouth
20 Feb 2020

As ArtsProfessional unveils the explosive findings from its recent Freedom of Expression survey, Liz Hill examines the soul of a sector that believes it is owed artistic freedom but doesn’t tolerate freedom of speech within its own ranks.

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.”

When boards go bad: how to take inclusive action

graphic of two characters arguing
13 Oct 2021

Over the past year, Amanda Parker has been privy to several board-level conflicts that she describes as nightmarish. Boards, she advises, need to ensure democratic processes support equitable redress. 

Where are the young people on arts boards?

Violinists playing
13 Oct 2021

Ten years ago, while most 21-year-olds were exploring their freedom, Toks Dada was spending his evenings and weekends reading company management reports, annotating business plans, and scrutinising financial accounts. Here he explains why.

Questioning assumptions underlying governance

overhead view of a roundabout
13 Oct 2021

Boards in the cultural sector often focus on improving the delivery of a conventional model, but as Anisa Morridadi argues, both trustees and organisations need to change.

On board

picture of a board room
13 Oct 2021

One of the oddities of sitting on a board or being a trustee of a cultural institution is that there are no rules for how to do it - still less how to do it well. John Tusa offers a guide for survival.

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?

We need to talk about race

image of people with slogans over their mouths
06 Oct 2021

A reluctance to share opinions openly is a significant block to achieving racial equity. But as Kevin Osborne argues, without understanding prevailing attitudes to racial inequity we are unlikely to reach effective solutions.

Curatorial scheme to tackle social mobility in visual arts

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries participants
04 Oct 2021

The pilot programme will “challenge accepted barriers” in one of the sector’s least inclusive professions.

A curatorial career driving culture-led regeneration

image of Victoria Pomery
28 Sep 2021

Ten years after Turner Contemporary opened its doors to the public, its Director Victoria Pomery OBE is stepping down. Here she reflects on her career.

Nadine Dorries reads from the same script

16 Sep 2021

The new Culture Secretary's pro-Brexit stance and history of controversy have the left-leaning arts sector worried.

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".

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.

What do we mean by a systemic conversation?

image of jigsaw pieces
20 Jul 2021

Building on Culture Reset, Richard Watts shares a range of new initiatives aimed at supporting the cultural sector to change and develop to meet the urgent demands for inclusion, improved governance and more dispersed models of leadership.

A golden thread running through a creative career

20 Jul 2021

Whether in policy development, advocacy or nurturing talent, Executive Director of Clore Leadership Hilary Carty’s career is born of a passion for arts and culture.

On the tightropes

book cover for tactics for the tightrope
13 Jul 2021

How can we build a fairer cultural sector that works for artists, organisations, and communities? Mark Robinson explores some tactics for the tightrope act of shared culture.

City of London launches review into racism at Barbican Centre

09 Jul 2021

The centre's funder has stepped in after former and current staff called it "institutionally racist" and lobbied for managers to resign.

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