Juggling high stakes

04 Jul 2022

Coming to England as a refugee at the age of 17, escaping war, Tarek Iskander found himself studying sciences. As he recounts, they were not his best subjects. 

Relocation dilemma for NPOs as Arts Council reports record grant demand

30 Jun 2022

Stick or twist? London-based cultural organisations confronted with tough choice to move elsewhere in England or to stay put in capital, with no guarantee of funding success in either scenario.  

Nurturing a new generation of visually impaired leaders

Big crowd talking and drinking at 25th anniversary party
27 Jun 2022

Extant theatre company hopes sharing best practice across the industry will lead to increased sector opportunities for visually impaired talent.

Opera UK to discuss sustainability, diversity and advocacy

21 Jun 2022

Opera UK has announced a series of online events to be held in the first week of July that will facilitate discussion around the future of opera in the country.

The sessions will be focused on three pressing issues: environmental sustainability, greater diversification in leadership and advocacy for opera, and will feature at least 14 expert speakers.

Contributors who have so far signed up include directors of leading companies, performers and those working on the ground in positions including technical production and stage direction.

Annilese Miskimmon, Artistic Director at English National Opera, Elizabeth Llwellyn, soprano and a trustee of Into Opera and Mark Pemberton, Chief Executive at the Association of British Orchestras, are all scheduled to participate. 

All events will be participatory, allowing attendees to join the discussions and ask questions. 

“Innovation and change is vital to ensure that our sector remains relevant, effectively engages with communities, and benefits our audiences,” said Genevieve Raghu, Artistic Director of Into Opera and one of Opera UK’s Founding Directors. 

“We hope these events will help to connect individuals and companies across the opera sector and instigate even more conversations, positive changes and, through increased collaboration of our members, we hope to see a strengthening of the resilience of the opera sector.”

The discussions will also serve as a platform to launch a new mapping exercise designed to help establish a detailed picture of the national opera industry. 

A third of arts businesses plan to adopt hybrid working

21 Jun 2022

Businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors are among the most likely to adopt permanent hybrid work models, the latest Office for National Statistics figures reveal.

They show the number of organisations for whom working from home is, or is planned to be, part of their permanent business model has risen from 16% in autumn 2020 to 23% in April 2022.

Organisations in these sectors showed much higher preferences for hybrid work models than others, with 33% working to implement a long-term culture of offsetting days spent in the office with days working from home.

Data suggests most businesses are motivated to make the shift to hybrid work because of improved staff wellbeing, reduced overheads and increased productivity. 

“Despite the removal of all Covid-related restrictions, these latest statistics show there are still a large number of businesses eager to continue a culture of hybrid working,” said Tina Chander, Head of the Employment Law team at Wright Hassall.

She added that many employees are reluctant to return to offices full-time but that employers “still have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workforce is protected, even if employees are working from home full-time”.

Private arts funding 'increasingly reliant on social impact evidence'

People sitting on grass at a Coventry City of Culture event
16 Jun 2022

Arts and culture organisations report more competition for private sector funding, and requirement to show the work they do has a positive effect.

A shift in mindset for cultural governance

08 Jun 2022

Becky Chapman and Ben Qasim Monks are co-chairs of the board at Exeter Northcott Theatre. They share how they have shifted from an ‘oversight’ model of governance to an emphasis on ‘insights’. 

Arts Council chief among Queen's Birthday Honours recipients

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England
06 Jun 2022

More than 100 people working in the arts and culture sectors have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

DCMS study moots major new data platform

25 May 2022

Report recommends new cultural sector data platform to help make the case for increased funding across the arts.

Dorries: abolition of ACE 'not on government agenda'

19 May 2022

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tells MPs that while the system of distributing arts funding is "not perfect", there are no plans to abolish Arts Council England.

Who runs the arts in England?

outside the Royal Opera House
17 May 2022

New research confirms that elite institutions are still the dominant players in the interconnecting networks running the arts. Dave O’Brien and Mark Taylor share their findings.

How dynamic are you?

11 May 2022

What we used to think of as ‘contingency planning’ is now just planning, says Patrick Towell. That is what it means to be ‘dynamic’.

Government seeks 5% savings from major arts and culture institutions

06 May 2022

A government review of public bodies will consider whether they should be retained or abolished as well as seeking efficiency savings of at least 5%.

The future for freelancers

FREELANCE : FUTURES logo
04 May 2022

An initiative to create more equitable conditions for freelancers in the sector has launched. Joon-Lynn Goh and Richard Watts introduce FREELANCE : FUTURES.

Name change for 'whitewashed' Kala Sangam sparks anguish

29 Apr 2022

Founding members of the South Asian arts company accuse Arts Council England of turning a blind eye to "the definition of appropriation" as new programmes and audiences are pursued.

Covid-19 and the global cultural and creative sector – part 2

Theater in Quarantine - Mask Study 1, created by Jon Levin, Katie Rose McLaughlin and Joshua William Gelb; April 1, 2020 Pictured: Joshua William Gelb The story of Theater in Quarantine.
27 Apr 2022

After two years of constant learning, Anthony Sargent thinks we now have the foundations for a new world.

Women in music

women playing the violin
27 Apr 2022

Why are women so under-represented in certain areas of classical music? Katherine Cooper thinks enduring stereotypes about women’s soft skills are partly to blame.

Activists occupy British Museum

25 Apr 2022

Hundreds of activists have staged another protest at the British Museum against the institution’s links to oil giant BP.

Activist theatre group BP or not BP, organisers of the "Make BP History" event said around 400 people took part in multiple protests across the British Museum on Saturday (23 April), culminating in a 10 metre BP logo being pulled apart in the Great Court. Protestors then went on to occupy four different rooms in the museum after closing time.

BP is one of the British Museum's longest standing corporate supporters, supporting the museum since 1996. The current five-year contract was signed in May 2016 and extended for a year due to Covid. It is understood the museum is in talks with the oil giants over extending the arrangement further. Several protests against the museum's corporate partnership with BP have been held in recent weeks.

Deborah Locke, a member of BP or not BP, said: "Renewing this sponsorship deal would send a terrible message, making an oil giant seem acceptable when we need to urgently shift away from this disastrous industry.”

The British Museum has previously defended its relationship with BP, stating that "without external support much programming and other major projects would not happen".

Creative People and Places restructure 'contradicts its ethos'

14 Apr 2022

Changes to the programme come after a "disappointing" couple of years in which those involved say ACE lost sight of its purpose.

Building resilience

29 Mar 2022

Can coaching enhance the resilience of people working in the arts during times of challenge and change? Nina Byrne has been doing some research in the North East.

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