Will the restoration of Stormont benefit the arts in Northern Ireland?

Production shot from Agreement by Owen McCafferty
20 Feb 2024

With the return of devolved government to Northern Ireland, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of Arts Council Northern Ireland, reflects on what it might mean for the arts and cultural sector. 

Joining the dots for better cultural policy

Light installation in Leeds
14 Feb 2024

As Anna Kime begins working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, she explores how integrated data and evaluation can aid decision making and ensure the UK’s cultural and creative sectors continue to be world-leading. 

We are all philanthropists

Graphic showing aerial view of people holding hands in concentric circles
01 Feb 2024

The Secretary of State for Culture, Lucy Frazer, has called for an attitude shift towards philanthropy to boost arts funding. But that view, writes Caroline McCormick, fails to recognise the huge contribution of the 99%.

Community arts groups share in £480k of Windrush funding

11 Apr 2024

Several art groups are among 28 community projects to share in more than £480,000 of government funding as part of the Windrush Day Grant Scheme.

Administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Community, the fund, established six years ago, supports community-led arts, educational, and sporting events across England that highlight the legacy of the Windrush generation.

Funded organisations include Sudden Productions, which will provide a platform for the Windrush Generation and their descendants to share their experiences through a stage production and drama workshops, and Island Movements, which will create a 30-minute ballet telling the story of a Caribbean family whose parents came over on the Windrush.

The Brixton Project, which promotes community cohesion through a carnival of art, theatre and music, will also receive a grant, as will Voyage, a project bringing young people and community elders together to produce a book and exhibition. 

The full list of recipients includes Northampton Theatres Trust, BLACK* artists on the move, Oxygen Arts CIC, Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museums, the London Borough of Newham, and Oxford City Council.

Former DfE adviser calls for cap on creative courses

Male and female drama students at a performing arts school In studio improvisation class
11 Apr 2024

Leading economist says limiting numbers of students allowed to study creative subjects at university would allow government to invest significantly more, making remaining provision 'outstanding'.

ACE delays public announcement of new music education hubs

Orchestra instruments
10 Apr 2024

Independent Society of Musicians warns that Arts Council England's last-minute decision leaves staff and freelancers "in the dark" about their future employment.

MPs back proposed £300m Smart Fund for creator remuneration

10 Apr 2024

Select Committee says government must ‘plug the gaps' in outdated copyright and intellectual property regulations’ to help future-proof creators rights.

Arts Council England: What is to be done?

Image of Lenin
09 Apr 2024

Andrew Pinnock, a former Arts Council officer, thinks it’s time for an honest review of our national development agency for creativity and culture, based on truthful foundations.

Ministerial commitment to music education questioned

Pupils Playing Musical Instruments In School Orchestra
09 Apr 2024

Department for Education confirms that a minister has been present at only one meeting of the board in charge of challenging the government on music education plans.

A brighter future for entrepreneurs and opportunity-seekers

Abstract image of signal and noise
08 Apr 2024

Now more than ever it’s important to focus on the things that really matter, to free ourselves of distractions and to identify earned income opportunities, says Robin Cantrill-Fenwick.

Universities urged to resist 'government assault on arts'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan speaking at the Conservative party conference
08 Apr 2024

An 'assault on the arts' by the government is having a devastating impact on creative courses around England, education union warns.

Scotland outlines ambitions to rejoin Creative Europe

The Royal Scottish Academy building decorated during the Edinburgh International Festival,
04 Apr 2024

The Scottish Government will review its international cultural funding and look into developing a support service for cultural export and exchange as part of a new International Cultural Strategy.

Campaign to boost culture investment launches

27 Mar 2024

A UK-wide campaign designed to highlight the impact culture and heritage organisations make within their communities in the run-up to the next general election will launch in May.

Established by the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation, the 'Culture Makes…' campaign intends to make the case for culture and as a human right "which urgently needs investment".

More than 40 organisations including Bristol Old Vic, Northern Ballet, and the Southbank Centre have been confirmed as campaign "partners" with the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation calling for all cultural organisations in the UK to join.

Caroline McCormick, Chair of the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation, said: “Cultural and heritage organisations have long wrestled with how to communicate the value and impact of their work. 

"Culture Makes… comes at a critical time enabling us to come together through a clear and simple set of linguistic tools which will allow us to celebrate and raise awareness of the impact of the sector as a whole and the individual contributions each organisation makes with government and policy makers, funders, and our audiences. 

"Our aim is to build an overwhelmingly powerful sector voice that cannot be ignored."
 

Viability of music hubs ‘under threat’

Conservative MP Michael Ellis
20 Mar 2024

Standstill funding, increased employer pension costs and the financial impact of the pandemic are putting England's network of music education hubs under increased pressure.

What would a regenerative cultural sector look like?

Young people leaping across a lavender bed in Ilam Park
19 Mar 2024

The sector’s resilience and creativity in navigating crises show how art and culture will sustain even in the toughest of times. Ben Walmsley explores what is now needed to build a more equitable, confident and sustainable future.   

Former Chair of Science Museum to lead review of ACE

Mary Archer, a woman with mid-length dark hair wearing a dark grey suit jacket
18 Mar 2024

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer says forthcoming review will help 'ensure that Arts Council England is driving creative excellence in the arts by funding ambitious projects of the highest quality'.

Starmer pledges arts education overhaul

Keir Starmer speaking at the Labour Creatives Conference
14 Mar 2024

Labour leader sets out his plans for creative education, improving conditions for freelancers, and his hope to boost funding for arts and culture organisations across the country.

Radical intervention required

Panel discussion at Creative UK summit
13 Mar 2024

The cultural sector welcomed last week’s Spring Budget but, as Lara Carmona writes, not being able to leverage public investment at the scale needed is like having your best player benched indefinitely.

Frazer interview: Trigger warnings + ACE plans

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer
12 Mar 2024

Culture Secretary doubles down on previous comments around trigger warnings and speaks about forthcoming review of Arts Council England during interview with Arts Professional.

Debbonaire: Labour will make creativity central to curriculum

Thangam Debbonaire speaking at the Big Creative UK Summit
08 Mar 2024

Shadow Culture Secretary says she is working with Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson on plans to "tear down barriers to opportunity" in arts, culture and the creative industries.

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