Freelance frustration

Royal Shakespeare Company's Dream, February 2021 set-up shots.
19 Oct 2023

Arts Council England’s call for freelancers to participate in yet another survey has been met with anger and dismay by the freelance workforce, for reasons Chrissie Tiller explains.

AI voices lack nuance

Sophisticated AI voice actor’s recording studio. Image created on DALL·E 2023.
14 Nov 2023

Melissa Thom is the founder of Bristol Academy of Voice Acting. Here, she shares how AI is disrupting the world of voiceover.

DCMS unveils £5m boost for grassroots music

A group of musicians rehearse in a studio
13 Nov 2023

New fund to support grassroots music will offer grants of up to £40k to rehearsal spaces, recording studios, festivals, venues and promoters. 

Partnership offers hundreds of gigs for young artists

08 Nov 2023

A partnership between two organisations based in Manchester is offering hundreds of paid gigs to young emerging artists.

Live music marketplace GigPig and arts organisation Reform Radio are collaborating to help artists launch their professional careers.

Reform Radio says it will use its platform to engage young adults looking for new opportunities, working creatively with them over a sustained period to develop new skills for employment.

The station supported 316 young people last year and has a community of more than 500 artists working with the organisation at any one time.

Meanwhile GigPig, which already offers artists a free platform to find, play and get paid for gigs, will match artists up with Manchester venues each month. 

Reform Radio’s Station Manager Robin Guérard said: “The ultimate goal is to enable the city’s venues to discover new artists, in turn giving young artists a platform to establish themselves as professional artists; from where they can build their profile and connections to secure repeat work.”

“I truly believe that with more partnerships like this, we will improve the industry for all new and existing professional artists.”

Performing arts: 35,000 jobs losses since pandemic

two drama students rehearse on a stage
06 Nov 2023

'Alarming' figures show huge fall in job roles within performing and visual arts.

Crisis grant scheme for theatre workers launches

Display of tin soup and packet soup inside Morrisons supermarket located in the town of Cromer, Norfolk, England
02 Nov 2023

Royal Theatrical Fund says it does not want people in the industry to be unable to feed themselves or their family during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

More than music: The power and purpose of orchestras

Lincoln Centre's Summer for the City. From the audience's perspective, looking towards the stage.
31 Oct 2023

Rather than berate and fulminate against managers and funders, Robin Cantrill-Fenwick argues we must support orchestras through their current funding crisis.

DACS pays out £2.6m in third quarter of 2023

23 Oct 2023

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) distributed more than £2.6m in Artist's Resale Right (ARR) royalties from July to September this year.

The figure brings DACS’ total royalties paid to artists and estates so far this year to almost £7.5m.

Median ARR payment in the third quarter was £280, with more than 60% of royalties under £500.

Of the 862 artists and artists’ estates receiving royalties during the third quarter of the year, 53 artists were paid ARR for the first time.

Since the right to ARR became law in 2006, DACS has now paid out almost £123m to 6,079 artists and estates.

DACS Chief Executive Christian Zimmermann commented “ARR is more than just a royalty payment”.

“For many artists and estates, it is an enduring connection between artists and the evolving ownership of their works; simultaneously creating a robust and transparent provenance trail, adding depth to the stories behind each work.”

Fenland council launches small grant scheme

11 Oct 2023

Fenland District Council has launched a grant scheme to support arts, culture and heritage activities across the region.

The programme offers up to £2,000 funding to local creatives and community arts organisations.

Successful projects must demonstrate that they benefit communities or artists in the district and meet one of the four criteria of the Fenland Creativity and Culture Strategy - “building new relationships, reaching more people, improving the quality of your work and supporting artistic ambition”.

The scheme is backed by the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Arts Council England.

Hazel Edwards, South-East Area Director, Arts Council England, said: "We're thrilled to see the Fenland Culture Fund gearing up to welcome its first applications and to have supported the small grants programme with £25,000 of our own Strategic Investment Funding.

"Fenland is one of Arts Council England's 54 Priority Places from across the country, where we are working extremely hard with local authorities and partnerships to increase access to creativity and culture.”

Financial barriers to creative work increasing, research finds

09 Oct 2023

Bursary supporting talent from underrepresented backgrounds to get into the creative industries reopens amid concerns that financial barriers are impacting job prospects.

Re-thinking artist residencies

Attendees at the 2023 Res Artis conference
03 Oct 2023

What are artist residencies and what part could they play in nurturing inclusive and sustainable creative practice? A recent conference hosted by Acme addressed these questions, as Jon Opie reports. 

The perils of being an early career theatre director

Image of actors in a rehearsal room
26 Sep 2023

Freelance writer and director, Jane Prinsley explains the difficulties facing young people like her trying to set sail in an industry in which entry routes have been cut off. 

Renewed calls for freelance commissioner

Image of parliamentary committee room with culture leaders giving evidence to MPs
19 Sep 2023

Culture, Media and Sport Committee hears from sector leaders that more joined-up thinking is required to address precarity of creative freelancers. 

Third of UK musicians earn less than £14k

Two cellists performing in public
11 Sep 2023

First census of UK musicians highlights the challenges of a career in the music industry, with low earnings proving a career barrier for many and significant numbers struggling to support their families.

ACE simplifies 'confusing' grant application process

A woman sitting in front of a laptop computer
04 Aug 2023

Applications for National Lottery Project Grants are set to undergo a shakeup after applicants expressed frustration with the current process.

Co-working studio spaces open at Birmingham’s STEAMhouse

04 Aug 2023

A new co-working studio space facility has opened at Birmingham City University’s STEAMhouse, providing space to creative individuals and organisations looking for a place to work.

The studio space provides access to dedicated workstations. Local creatives can gain access to the space by signing up for a paid monthly membership.

“The joy of STEAMhouse is that no-one works entirely alone,"  Clayton Shaw, Head of STEAMhouse, said.

"By coming together in co-working spaces, there is the freedom to share ideas and make new friends, which is the ideal environment for small creative businesses to thrive.

“We have set the pricing to be affordable for small businesses and sole traders. It is a great asset to the city’s artistic and creative industries.”

Parliament defends 'no expenses' public art commission

National Memorial Arboretum (Alrewas, Staffordshire)
25 Jul 2023

Confirmation that artists submitting proposals for a project worth half a million pounds will not have their costs covered comes amid concerns about a lack of diversity in public art.

Artists in London reliant on income from outside sector

Artist Grayson Perry, a former ACME tenant, in his studio at Carpenters Road 1994-5.
13 Jul 2023

Survey of artists with affordable rent studios in London finds only one in three make a living from work within the industry.

Flats near HS2 construction to become creative workspaces

A person painting in a workspace
11 Jul 2023

Camden Council teams up with arts organisation to transform 90 empty flats into affordable creative workspaces for local artists.

Dance doesn’t get the attention it deserves

Chisenhale Dance Space August Residencies 2022, Ghost and John. People sat together on a blow-up mattress in a dance studio. They are looking from a book the person in the middle is reading from.
11 Jul 2023

Throughout the pandemic we heard the mantra 'build back better'. A new dance initiative aims to do just that - placing collectivity, autonomy and equity at its heart, as Reece McMahon explains.


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