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.

Public art by popular demand

Photo of public art project outside London Bridge Station - painted bollards
21 Mar 2019

A recent survey found that four in five Londoners would contribute at least £2 towards public art in their local area. Marine Tanguy and Vishal Kumar explore the potential role of citizens in new commissions.

Listening to children on climate change

Photo of Cap-a-Pie cast member working with a group of young school children
07 Mar 2019

What does climate change mean to the generation it will impact most? Brad McCormick explains how primary schoolchildren have been working with climate scientists to develop their own play.

Working with real people

Photo of a group of skateboarders
28 Feb 2019

Opening up decision-making about what art gets made and by whom doesn't lead to people 'playing it safe', but to programmes that engage more people, more deeply. Tamsin Curror examines the evidence.

Book review: A Restless Art

21 Feb 2019

Lucy Neal welcomes François Matarasso's nuanced and passionate exploration of the growing field of participatory art.

Liverpool stands by ‘insulting’ logo design competition

A crowd of people and tall ships at a dock
20 Dec 2018

The city region authority is offering a prize of £800 for a “simple but visually impactful” design to be used across print and online promotional materials for the £200k a year initiative.

Capturing the essence

An anotomical drawing representing the failure of a project
22 Nov 2018

When invited to carry out a creative evaluation of the first three years of Creative People and Places, Sarah Butler decided that the best approach was to have fun.

Review highlights evidence of class bias in arts funding

The outside of London's National Theatre at night
16 Nov 2018

The tendency for people from higher social grades to be more likely to attend arts events is down to a mismatch between current funding priorities and the public’s taste, rather than any lack of demand, an evidence review suggests.

A proud partner of health

Photo of woman in dance hold with older man
18 Oct 2018

A popular dance-based falls prevention programme offers effective treatment on the NHS, with a growing network of local groups helping older people maintain the benefits afterwards. Tim Joss tells the story.

Origins and ripples

Photo of women in performance with arms raised
18 Oct 2018

London Bubble’s Creative Elders programme has encouraged residents in sheltered housing units to socialise, be creative – and perform in public, says Helena Rice.

Parlour games

Photo of older person in carriage in parade
11 Oct 2018

When a shabby Victorian hall in Greenwich opened its doors to the public several years ago, no one could have predicted how important it would become to supporting social connections among the over-60s, says Daniel Bernstein.

A musical partnership for dementia care

Photo of musician with large brass instrument and older person
11 Oct 2018

Players in Stratford's Orchestra of the Swan are trained by charity Mindsong to provide music sessions in care homes. Sue Pope explains how the programme supports wellbeing.

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