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.

Job Ladder – Moya Maxwell

Photo of Moya Maxwell
30 May 2019

Moya Maxwell looks back on a career that has taken her from managing live events to running Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.

Indoor performance pilots 'have proved successful', LSO says

31 Jul 2020

With indoor performances allowed to resume this weekend, how safe and successful have trial events been?

Mayflower in talks to run Nuffield venue 

23 Jul 2020

Nuffield Southampton Theatres was cited as an early victim of the Covid-19 crisis when it went into administration in May. But a new report reveals the venue was in trouble before the lockdown began. 

Time for a reset

22 Jul 2020

The CULTURE RESET programme is up and running. Richard Watts shares the vision – and the inspiration.

Non-profit venues lose out under emergency VAT rules

St Martin's Theatre on London's West End
17 Jul 2020

Cultural venues exempt from VAT will gain nothing from new rules meant to benefit the sector, while commercial operators will be significantly better off. 

Letter: Fund the ecosystem - not the select few

13 Jul 2020

If ACE only distributes the Government's support package to the organisations they have a current relationship with, then 80% of the sector will remain vulnerable and large scale venues as well as small will be at risk says Michael Ockwell.

Evolve or die: time to think the unthinkable

People queuing for an aquarium amongst membership signs
09 Jul 2020

Covid-19 has only accelerated what was bound to happen in the arts world – the collapse of unsustainable economic models. It’s time to think again about where income comes from - and what we spend it on - says Alice Black.

How to tell audiences you’re open for business again

Hand drawn image of two people standing either side of a bear to illustrate the social distance required between two people
23 Jun 2020

Communicating re-opening will be much, much harder than closure, says Kate Fielding-Cox, who proposes four key principles that every venue should bear in mind when preparing to welcome the public back.

Musings of a Covid-weary venue manager

Poole's Lighthouse venue floodlit at night
23 Jun 2020

“Two pigeons in the foyer, a baby seagull falling off the roof and the lager kegs exploding in the heat”: Elspeth McBain tells why she was tempted to just get a straw and forget about her venue’s problems for a while…

Trapped in the status quo?

Statue in a park
21 Jun 2020

“Radical, representative reinvention” is the only moral choice for the sector now, says Richard Watts, who examines what’s locking us in – and what might help the sector break free from its unfair, unequal and excluding norms.

Time to choose

a baseball cap lodged in a life buoy on a boat. The caption on the hat is "harmonize humanity"
04 Jun 2020

Trusts and foundations are preparing to build stronger connections with a changed world and a changed public. Moira Sinclair reflects on this brief window of opportunity for a more equal future – and why the alternative is too grim.

Time to reconsider the love affair between art and social science

computer screen profile taken from the side with a dashboard image on display
27 May 2020

As the benefits of arts participation aren’t always tangible or easily quantified, how can our obsession with data be compatible with achieving inclusion, asks Emma Harvey.

Lockdown, Learn and Lead

people sitting chatting in a group in a darkened room
20 May 2020

How can we preserve the entrepreneurial spirit that has characterised the sector’s response to the pandemic, and which of the new ways of being should form part of a new compact with our audiences and communities? Hilary Carty looks at the challenges ahead.

Getting operationally ready

inside of the Princes Theatre
20 May 2020

Innovative solutions to emerging problems are showing how much can be achieved right now, but getting operationally ready for the next stage is the new challenge facing the arts. It’s important to recognise it’s a shared challenge writes Paul Fadden.

Why I'm writing myself out of my job

a signpost on a telegraph pole in front of a view of a bay with grass in the foreground
13 May 2020

Are you doing what you’ve always done because that’s what you were set up to do? Jo McLean explains how radical change can be used as an opportunity to rethink an organisation’s structure, roles, and delivery.

Five steps towards a new future

black and white mosaic pavement with the word 'Imagine' set in black
30 Apr 2020

A structured reflection process can support arts leaders to find tentative answers to the overwhelming problems they are facing. Richard Watts offers a framework to guide the process.

Why are arts workers always pigeonholed?

A photo of a large group of people throwing juggling clubs and hoops in the air
20 Apr 2020

By labelling people as either creators or administrators the sector is losing out on a host of valuable skills, says Rachel Griffiths.

Failure seems to be the hardest word

A photo of a smashed plate on the floor
14 Apr 2020

When it's time to rebuild, the cultural sector will have to start owning up to failure if it is to learn from its previous mistakes. David Stevenson reports on a research project encouraging just that.

Reasons to be cheerful

Photo shows a grandfather reading bedtime stories to three toddlers and a baby on a sofa
08 Apr 2020

“You may be down, but you're not out”, says Ron Evans, who is convinced this pandemic is poised to be the biggest catalyst to creativity that any of us has experienced in our lives.

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