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.”

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.

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.

New artist development programmes at Sadler’s Wells

03 Jul 2023

A series of artist development initiatives focused on practice rather than performance-based outcomes have been launched by Sadler’s Wells.

The initiatives include artist-led programmes, a mentoring scheme and programmes for South Asian dance practitioners and disabled artists.

The mentoring programme will see 10 early-career choreographers or dance artists paired with an established choreographer from the Sadler’s Wells network to explore a specific creative question, provocation or idea.

The South Asian Dance Development Programme is a two-year programme for emerging choreographers whose practice is based in a South Asian dance style. It will be delivered in partnership with Akademi and take place through a range of creative exchanges, skills sharing, peer-led learning and mentoring support.

The Disabled Artist Programme is a rolling programme focused on practice development opportunities for disabled artists. Participants will be invited to join a practice-based session each month, collaborating with artists who have worked on Sadler’s Wells’ stages. 

And Sadler’s Wells Time and Space Commissions will offer three more established choreographers £7,000, studio space and producing support, with “no pressure to deliver a production at the end of the process”. 

Sadler’s Wells Associate Artistic Director Rob Jones, who devised the initiatives, said: “We want these programmes to be spaces where we can have a consistent dialogue with developing choreographers and dance artists.

“The majority of our programmes are open call outs, and some are targeted in recognition of underserved areas of the dance ecology. These initial strands are focused on holding space for development without the pressure of production-based outcomes.

“We’re really excited to have a different kind of conversation with the dance ecology and this first step will build a strong a foundation for the work Sadler’s Wells is doing to support the future of choreographers and dance artists.” 

A champion of racial equity

Headshot of Kevin Osborne. He is a Black man wearing a white shirt, black trousers, and a black cap. He sits on a brown chair in front of a painting.
26 Jun 2023

The driving premise behind Kevin Osborne’s career has been to help people meet their basic needs, so they can achieve their full potential.

Fund offers musicians advances of up to £50,000

26 Jun 2023

A new fund has been launched to support artists working in the independent music sector.

As part of Music Gateway's Ignite fund, eligible artists will be offered advances of up to £50,000 to help them cover recording costs and promote new releases in a variety of ways, including merchandise production, playlist promotion, radio and press campaigns, digital marketing strategies and sync optimisation and representation.

The fund is designed for artists and rights-holders who have an existing portfolio of released songs and a proven track record of income across a period of more than six months. 

Artists participating in the Ignite programme will work with the in-house team at Music Gateway on release strategies, royalty registrations and representation for sync licensing. 

They are not obligated to use the company’s promotional services during the Ignite term – which lasts a minimum of 12 months – but digital distribution and publishing admin has to go through Music Gateway.

The company will be responsible for registering and distributing music, running campaigns and pitching for sync. It will recoup the advance through royalty earnings. Artists will retain 100% of their rights.

“Our team have been fortunate enough to develop and support some incredible talent over the years,” said Sophie Small, CEO of Music Gateway. 

“This fund is designed for us to continue to do this in a way that increases the level of support we can provide outside of services for specific representation or campaigns and bring it all together in a way that still keeps the artists in control of their ownership, which is at the heart of what we do.”

Website helps musicians input data for royalties

15 Jun 2023

A new website is helping songwriters, composers and artists understand how to input data integral to receiving royalties. 

The Get Paid Guide, a partnership between PRS for Music, The Ivors Academy, the Music Publishers Association and the Intellectual Property Office, will educate music creators on controlling and managing their music data, through a step-by-step guidance on what music data is, why it matters and what to do with it.

The collaboration was driven from a 2021 DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the economic impact of music streaming on creators.

Following the inquiry, government set up a music metadata working group. The group published the Metadata Agreement last month, which identified education on data input as an area that needed vital work.

Across the sector, creators have experienced delays in receiving royalties, and in some cases haven’t been paid at all, due to a lack of awareness around accurate metadata inputs.

In response, the Get Paid Guide features tutorials on International Standard Musical Work and International Standard Recording codes and offers help on frequently asked questions from creators, such as the use of pseudonyms and what to do when covering another artist’s song.

President of the PRS Members’ Council, Michelle Escoffery, says the guide “brings us closer to achieving a healthier metadata ecosystem overall”.

“Getting the data right at the point of works registration is vitally important and is often the difference between being paid or not.

“I encourage all music creators to use this guide, get fluent with the relevant codes and empower themselves to get paid accurately and quickly.”


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