UNBOXED 2022 offers innovation - and employment

21 Oct 2021

Once derided as the Festival of Brexit, the eight-month mega event will "prove the naysayers wrong".

Khan invests £1m to diversify London’s public spaces

21 Oct 2021

A new fund to improve the diversity of London’s public spaces has been announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Untold Stories will offer community-led organisations between £1,000 and £25,000 to develop new murals, street art, street names and programmes.

Recent research into London’s sculptures found huge gaps in representation. More than a fifth of London's statues are dedicated to named men, whilst only 4% are dedicated to named women. Just three of almost 1500 public monuments depict named women of colour.

Khan said London’s statues, street names and buildings have shown a limited perspective of the city’s history for “far too long”.

“I’m determined to do everything I can to ensure our public realm presents a more complete picture of everyone who has made London the incredible city it is today.”

Untold Stories opened its first application round Thursday (October 21), with a deadline of January 12.

Design chosen for National Windrush Monument

19 Oct 2021

The Windrush Commemoration Committee has selected Basil Watson’s design to stand as the National Windrush Monument.

Watson’s entry, chosen from a shortlist of four, depicts a man, woman and child climbing a mountain of suitcases hand-in-hand to demonstrate "the inseparable bond of the Windrush pioneers".

The committee said it received the most positive feedback from online survey and focus groups.

"I look forward to bringing my design to life, because I know how much this means to the Windrush community," said Watson, whose parents were part of the Windrush generation.

The monument, which will stand at London Waterloo station, is expected to be unveiled on Windrush Day 2022 (June 22).

'Break glass' campaign highlights inequalities in the arts

14 Oct 2021

A giant box bearing the slogan "break in case of arts emergency" has appeared in London as part of a campaign highlighting inequalities in the arts.

The boxes showcase artworks by young people involved with charity Arts Emergency as well as statistics on the arts workforce. 'Break the glass' is a euphemism for joining the mentoring network.

Only 4.8% of people working in music or the visual or performing arts are from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background and only 12% are working class, Arts Emergency reports.

The box has debuted at the Museum of London and will tour several local venues before arriving at Liverpool's World Museum in time for its 2022 launch event.

The campaign is supported by organisations including the BFI, Whitworth Gallery, Strawberries and Creem Festival and professional website Linkedin.


‘Re-veiling’ commemorates the truth of statues

A procession of people
06 Oct 2021

We often don’t notice statues of people, but they are part of our cultural history. Who are they? Why are they there? And where are the women? These are questions that fascinate Wanda Zyborska.

Arts centres to host conference on censored exhibition

05 Oct 2021

Two arts companies whose commission was censored by their council are hosting a public talk on the decision.

Gabriella Hirst's artwork An English Garden was deemed "a left wing attack" by local politicians for its interrogation of Britain's nuclear history. 

Arts company Metal said councillors' "fundamental misreading" threatened to distort the actual meaning of the work and agreed to remove it.

An online conference on October 23 presented by Metal and The Old Waterworks will "continue the discussions that were silenced through the censorship".

A workshop in September taught participants to graft the offending Atom Bomb roses, which are now on display outside Southend's Focal Point Gallery.

UK's first public artwork honouring Windrush generation unveiled

04 Oct 2021

Three marble and bronze scupltures of Caribbean produce have become the first public artwork in the UK celebrating the Windrush generation.

Veronica Ryan's work references narratives of migration and movement, drawing on her childhood memories of east London's Ridley Road Market, near where the statues are sited.

"Cultural visibility and representation evident in public spaces is crucial," Ryan said.

"I like the fact that the community in Hackney will see some familiar fruit and vegetables represented in the sculptures, and always enjoy these connections."

The sculptures are part of Hackney Council's 'Black History in the Making', funded by the Freelands Foundation, which will continue throughout autumn

A new website has also been established.

Councillors chastised for coercing company into censorship

20 Jul 2021

An artist, her commissioners and the council say the pressure to remove a nuclear-themed artwork was misguided. So why hasn't it been reinstalled?

Bringing art to the people of Liverpool

Artist Gail Dooley stands next to her sculpture at The Liverpool Plinth
29 Jun 2021

Public art plays a vital role in engaging people. And giving cultural venues a voice in cities is crucial to creating a more equitable city for all, writes Laura Brown.  

The public art of placemaking

Mary Woolf artist with boundary line sign
07 Apr 2021

Public art can connect us to the places, landscapes and buildings where we live. Lindsey Hebden explains what that means in practice for young people in the Lakes and Dales.

Artists and researchers join forces for public art planning

Colourful absract artwork with a bckground of deep blues and grey swirls with bright pink and yellow layer over
24 Mar 2021

Sam Wilkinson and Rosie Murdoch explain how a speed dating approach to partnerships led to artworks and outcomes beyond their expectations.

'Woke minority' fights back against contested heritage policy

25 Feb 2021

As Oliver Dowden establishes a working group on "retain and explain", arts workers afraid of exclusion, censorship and funding cuts are speaking up.

Ethnic representation in children's literature reaches new, low high

18 Nov 2020

Ambitions to increase the number of creators of colour have been raised amid improvements in the incidence and portrayal of Black, Asian and ethnic minority characters.

Arm's-length policy at risk in 'contested heritage' debate

08 Oct 2020

The Government's edicts over controversial statues and other heritage assets are complicating the job of cultural organisations and councils responsible for managing them.

Commission to improve diversity of London's statues and streets

28 Jul 2020

The newly-launched inquiry into diversity in the capital's public realm will be guided by Black cultural groups and Arts Council England.

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.

The feelgood factor: making flagship programmes work

A photo of an Asian women with a suitcase, a Black service man and two white women on their phones sitting on a bench in a station
27 Jun 2019

Artistic excellence and effective governance are key to the success of major public cultural programmes, writes Nigel Hinds.

Shining a light on local culture

Photo of a transgender person getting ready at a vanity table as a audience watches on.
27 Jun 2019

The LightNight festival initially aimed to showcase Liverpool's artists to outsiders - but it is now more concerned with galvanising the local cultural scene, writes Laura Marie Brown.

Southbank Creative Director warns of 'cultural apartheid' risk

Photo of Madani Younis
26 Jun 2019

Madani Younis said "institutions that have historically not given a shit are saying 'we’re going to start caring'", but called for a faster pace of change.

ACE denies statistics are misleading as regulator demands more clarity

People watching a film outside next to a canal
03 May 2019

The UK Statistics Authority has endorsed AP’s challenge to Arts Council England over the reporting of audience numbers in its latest annual review.


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