Teen curates catalogue of MPs' favourite artworks

14 Sep 2021

A catalogue featuring the favourite artworks of 101 Members of Parliament is now available online.

John Lilbourne, 18, curated the online exhibition after writing to all 650 MPs during lockdown, asking: "What is your favourite owned artwork?".

Dear John features his favourite responses from cross party MPs, including cabinet ministers Oliver Dowden and Priti Patel.

Works on display range from portraits of the Queen and Margaret Thatcher to art created by MPs' children. 

Dowden sent a photograph of the Queen from Twitter and Matt Hancock has a Damien Hirst portrait of the monarch.

Jacob Rees-Mogg highlighted a 15th Century statue from the studio of Italian sculptor Della Robia.

When asked why he undertook the project, Lilbourne said:

"These are people who make the decisions that govern our lives, but they feel so unreachable. By writing to them with this question I was trying to find a human connection.”

Sensory and inclusive theatre

outdoor theatre production
07 Sep 2021

All cultural organisations are concerned with making their work more accessible. A new report by Maria Varvarigou on sensory and inclusive theatre for disabled children and young people provides a model for doing just that.

Iconic Manchester venue to reopen after £6m works

01 Sep 2021

Contact Theatre says it is focussed on putting young people at the forefront of its work after the challenges of the past year.

Locally-led arts sustained communities through lockdown

25 Aug 2021

Working around Covid-19 restrictions actually bolstered the vitality and value of local arts projects, research finds.

Writing for health

using a computer on a sofa
13 Jul 2021

It's widely agreed that arts and creativity can boost mental health and wellbeing. But less well known is the positive effect that writing can have, says Christina Bunce

Creative Lives: recognising exceptional people

Group of men performing music
22 Jun 2021

After thirty years at the frontline of grassroots creativity, Voluntary Arts has relaunched as Creative Lives. David Bryan reflects on the work of the organisation to date and the role everyday creativity will increasingly play in post-pandemic life.

When altruism meets experience

Image of George and Rebecca on screen
27 Apr 2021

The pandemic has proved the power of the arts in addressing isolation. Eleanor Sutton shares how a volunteering programme is benefitting artists and the elderly alike.

Confusion over ongoing ban on amateur performance

23 Apr 2021

Having promoted singing and brass instruments as safe last summer, the Government now believes they are more likely to spread Covid-19. So why can they happen at a pub but not a park?

Ten teams selected for Festival 2022

Rama and Sita lit up in fireworks
26 Mar 2021

Following a £3m research and development phase, diverse teams of artists, scientists and engineers will receive £10m each to bring their "showstopping" ideas to life.

Orchestras, opera companies and choirs add £1.6m to public health

11 Mar 2021

Up to two thirds of UK orchestras are already working in health and social care settings. With NHS support, they could be "at the heart of society’s recovery from the mental and economic scars of Covid-19".

Surrey venues draw sightseers, spending and social benefits, study finds

23 Feb 2021

New research shows 70% of visitors to Surrey arts venues would not have come into town - and spent an extra £40 on average - if it weren't for those institutions.

Storytelling – a different way of evaluating

Team photo from a recreation of the 1966 World Cup
09 Jul 2020

Conventional monitoring and evaluation isn’t always helpful in community settings, but with some creative thinking, it can become a valuable part of the artistic process. Sarah Cassidy explains how a new technique can transform the outcomes.

Coventry City of Culture delayed until May 2021

Paper Peace, part of Coventry 2021's first campaign, Humans of Coventry
03 Jul 2020

Partners say the new date means the cultural showcase “can be reimagined in response to challenges facing the country”.

Building a musical bridge across generations

casual group of people on a stage with an elderly person in a wheelchair in the foreground
13 May 2020

Stuart Bruce reports on an intergenerational approach to strengthening community and wellbeing among people living with dementia and their carers, leading to benefits for older and younger people alike.

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.

A gentle way to change the world

Photo of Craftspace. Two young people doing craftwork
08 Apr 2020

The combination of the pandemic and impending climate change means the world we have known is about to change. As young people work out what matters to them – and what they can do about it – collective making can help, says Deirdre Buckley.

Creative conversations to start the day

Person using iPad
26 Mar 2020

How do you keep connected in our Covid-19 world? #CreativeNetwork is a chance to talk about creative responses to enforced separation – and drink coffee together. Jemma Neville explains. 

Stay well, supported and creative: our new microsite for Covid-19 updates

Statue with face mask
19 Mar 2020

In uncertain times, ArtsProfessional will be providing regular updates on projects and resources to support wellbeing, careers and creativity in the arts.

When your audience is also part of the crew

A photo of a village hall with tables of people sitting down
12 Mar 2020

Working with rural communities to stage small-scale performances is good for the arts, the environment and local people, writes Sophie Motley.

How community engagement can change your life

A photo of people dancing and a woman reading from a sheet
05 Mar 2020

We can only change our local communities if we’re willing to change ourselves, says Carol Jones.

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