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 Director 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”.

It's time to be honest about failure

Photo of interior theatre with a single spectator
06 Jun 2019

New research suggests that cultural organisations are reluctant to admit to failure for fear of losing their funding. To make genuine progress, we need a more honest approach, says Leila Jancovich.

Arts projects land £4m to boost social impact

A photo of two children painting
17 May 2019

The Creative Civic Change programme has granted multi-year funding to communities with a track record of using the arts to address social need.

Even minimal creative activity boosts wellbeing, research finds

A close up photo of hands painting an Easter egg
10 May 2019

A study of 50,000 people found that regardless of skill level, taking part in activities like painting, pottery or music helps people manage their emotions, build confidence and explore solutions to problems.

Time to walk the talk

Photo of Julian Mitchell leading a coding activity at Raynham Primary School in London
02 May 2019

Frustrated with the decline of arts and creative subjects in schools, Nick Corston gave up his day job to form a not-for-profit enterprise that connects children with art in their community.

A seat at the table

Photo of Imrana speaking at the Power of Community symposium
24 Apr 2019

Challenging the notion of a ‘hard-to-reach community’ in Luton, Imrana Mahmood explores the need to create pathways that lead to meaningful inclusion.

Lessons in leadership from an interim Chief Executive

Photo of Foundation for Art and Creative Technology Liverpool
23 Apr 2019

What is it like to lead a large and complex organisation? Having just spent some time as an interim chief executive, Matthew Brown reveals what he’s learnt. 

Finding common ground

A group of people listening to a talk
04 Apr 2019

In the wake of budget cuts, local arts groups in Birmingham have come together to help shape a new democratic approach to culture in the city, says Tom Jones.

Bringing libraries to life

Photo of a young man playing a keyboard
28 Mar 2019

Libraries will always be about books and information, but in Manchester they’re also a place for local communities to enjoy live gigs and other arts events. Zoe Williams explains how the transformation has taken place.

Making community arts work

Portrait – people and places of the First Art area by David Severn and Kajal Nisha Patel
21 Mar 2019

What makes socially engaged and participatory arts projects successful? Elizabeth Lynch and Miriam Nelken talked to artists, commissioners and participants to find out.

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