Head to head: can a toolkit solve the sector’s class problem?

14 Nov 2019

This year Jerwood Arts published a toolkit for cultural organisations, designed to encourage greater socio-economic diversity in the arts. Julie Lomax, Chief Executive of a-n The Artists Information Company, sees it as a starting point for helping solve the sector’s ‘class crisis’ – but arts consultant Chrissie Tiller isn’t so sure.

‘Art’ or ‘culture’? Let’s scrap both

A photo of a man holding a sword over a painting and a fallen statue
27 Feb 2020

After centuries of trying to define the arts and culture, we remain deeply confused about what they are and their benefits, says Liam Dee.

Coventry 2021: a lot more than a party

A photo of a brightly-lit sculpture on an outside wall
13 Feb 2020

The city has no intention of shirking difficult challenges in its year as UK City of Culture, writes Chenine Bhathena.

Three reasons why ACE’s new strategy won’t cut it

A photo of a crowd at a concert
23 Jan 2020

As Arts Council England prepares to publish its next ten-year strategy, thought leaders suggest a radical alternative.

Crafting support for Scottish arts

A young woman screen printing at a workshop
16 Jan 2020

Eleven Scottish visual arts organisations have banded together to improve opportunities for artists and show their worth to policymakers and the public. Shân Edwards shares the story of Scotland’s Workshops.

A truly national theatre? Exploring new ways to collaborate

A photo of a young man on a stage leaning against another actor
05 Dec 2019

National Theatre partnerships with theatres around the country are creating an opportunity for them to share and compare experiences and ideas across a mix of scales, locations and financial models. Lisa Burger explains what’s going on.

Bonding with the Bard: how Shakespeare brought East Londoners closer together

28 Nov 2019

Can theatres really forge deep and meaningful connections with their local communities across age, class and ethnicity? Douglas Rintoul explains how Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has done just that.

We need more welfare funding of the arts – literally

19 Nov 2019

If the arts sector really has faith in everyday creativity, it should put its money where its mouth is, writes Jonathan Knott.

Celebrating the hyper-local

A photo of two women with aerials on their heads
17 Oct 2019

From family births to DIY successes, greasy spoons to local DJs, a collaborative project has been celebrating local radio on high streets across the country. Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton explain why the time is right for hyper-local theatre.

Why I bought a quilt

03 Oct 2019

Andrew Pinnock says City of Culture planners should spend less time making up positive-sounding stories they think they can sell, and more time listening to the people who make culture on their own terms.

Job ladder: John Laidlaw

A Live & Local performance
23 Sep 2019

The Executive Director of Live & Local recalls a career trajectory that has taken him through Butlins, an old bingo venue and many, many village halls.

Beyond sport, monarchy and wars

A photo of a group of people dressed as WW1 soldiers in Birmingham
29 Aug 2019

First World War centenary commemorations proved that large-scale cultural projects can effectively mark nationally significant events. The question now is ‘what next?’, says Jane Ellison.

What we’ve learned moving from London to Essex

Carnival dancers parading through Tilbury, Thurrock adorned in brightly coloured garments accented with a keyboard pattern
29 Aug 2019

Relocating Kinetika’s work in carnival, outdoor and participatory arts to rapidly-changing Thurrock has allowed the company to renew its purpose and increase its impact, says Ali Pretty.

Community theatre at its best

Audience watching ‘Coram Boy’ with Gloucester Cathedral in the background
29 Aug 2019

A play at Gloucester Cathedral with a cast drawn from local people sparked real change among participants and spectators alike, writes Fiona Crouch.

Exit interview: 'We're asked to follow a business model that just doesn’t work'

Photo of Arti Prashar
15 Aug 2019

Arti Prashar was told to never create a job that no one else could fill. She looks back on 13 years as CEO of Spare Tyre Theatre Company.

The power of collaborative communities

A photo of the atrium of the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal
05 Aug 2019

To unlock the full value of culture, Arts Council England needs to support villages, towns and cities across the country to work together more closely, says the funder's Deputy Chief Executive Simon Mellor.

Creative processes at the heart

Photo of a wall graffitied with the words "Together We Create!"
12 Jun 2019

The place in which a cultural organisation finds itself can determine how it thrives, survives or even dies, but many organisations are now taking the lead in helping places reinvent themselves. Anne Torreggiani explores the rise of place-shaping.

Flourishing cultural eco-systems

A photo of a member of Merseyside Police force working in a local chip shop
12 Jun 2019

Jonathan Gross and Nick Wilson reflect on their recent research into cultural ecology and suggest what the future of progressive place-based policy and practice could look like.

Without help, without permission

A photo of Pride of Princes, an interactive performance
12 Jun 2019

A perpetual, community-led art project is transforming neighbourhoods in Exeter, street by street. JoJo Spinks explains why handing control of commissioning to local people has been crucial to its success.

Fears within ACE over ‘dumbing down’ art

A photo of street art on the outside of a house
07 Jun 2019

Arts Council England’s Deputy Chief Executive has reassured those concerned about its new strategy that they should “be clear that the Royal Opera House is as important as Creative People and Places”.

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