Mass gift-making as a shared symbolic act

20 Jul 2022

With athletes about to arrive in Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a mass gift-making initiative has been underway to welcome them. Deirdre Figueiredo led the project.

Inclusivity drive for independent music venues launches

People at a music venue
19 Jul 2022

Independent music venues will be encouraged to form a national network offering daytime programmes of music-based activities to engage with diverse audiences.

£3.9m for cultural volunteering

14 Apr 2022

About £3.9m has been awarded to increase volunteering opportunities in the sector.

Arts and culture organisations received most of the grants distributed by Arts Council England from the £4.6m Volunteering Futures Fund on Wednesday (April 13).

Beneficiaries included Bureau Centre for the Arts in Blackburn and Darwen, which will roll out a new two-year volunteering programme, Redcar's Festival of Thrift, which plans to collaborate with 12 partners on volunteer recruitment, and a consortia of local organisations led by Barnsley Museums.

The 19 lead organisations being funded are expected to work with more than 160 partners.

Just two grants have gone to London-based organisations, with eight given to awardees in the North of England.


Fringe Festival volunteering ‘leans into ableism’

a crowd gathers at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
23 Feb 2022

Allegations of discriminatory practices ignite calls for the festival to adopt new principles to tackle inequalities. 

LEEDS 2023: levelling up in action

panoramic overhead view of Leeds city centre
09 Feb 2022

Since Britain’s exit from Europe, we have no longer been able to compete for European Capital of Culture. But, as Kully Thiarai writes, Leeds decided to do it anyway. 

Volunteering as a route into work

performer speaks to children
22 Sep 2021

Without volunteering, many organisations in the cultural sector simply couldn’t operate. But it can also act as a route for people to move into paid work, writes Jane Ide.

Creative Lives: recognising exceptional people

Group of men performing music
22 Jun 2021

After thirty years at the frontline of grassroots creativity, Voluntary Arts has relaunched as Creative Lives. David Bryan reflects on the work of the organisation to date and the role everyday creativity will increasingly play in post-pandemic life.

Volunteers keep creativity alive

A group of people working on floral displays
02 Feb 2021

The creative activity that thrives in everyday society is often the most overlooked and unsupported, writes Robin Simpson. Here’s how you can help.

The win-win-win of volunteering

the bare arms of a group of mixed-race people stretching out hands on top of each other in a circle
14 May 2020

Define. Diversify. Develop. This 3-D approach to working with volunteers will ensure that your volunteer programme adds value for everyone involved, says Lucie Fitton.

Covid-19: Charities face £4bn 'black hole'

31 Mar 2020

Thousands of arts, culture and heritage charities improve communities, wellbeing and isolation – "functions that are particularly important during this crisis".

Creative conversations to start the day

Person using iPad
26 Mar 2020

How do you keep connected in our Covid-19 world? #CreativeNetwork is a chance to talk about creative responses to enforced separation – and drink coffee together. Jemma Neville explains. 

Sector victory as council pulls ad for 'volunteer community artist'

13 Feb 2020

Wiltshire Council says it now knows asking for experienced, skilled and pre-vetted volunteers “was not the right approach”. 

Without help, without permission

A photo of Pride of Princes, an interactive performance
12 Jun 2019

A perpetual, community-led art project is transforming neighbourhoods in Exeter, street by street. JoJo Spinks explains why handing control of commissioning to local people has been crucial to its success.

Improving the volunteer experience

A photo of a volunteer in the research room at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre
30 May 2019

How can arts organisations best nurture a thriving and committed community of volunteers? Robin Hall shares her experience of gaining accreditation from the Investing in Volunteers standard.

Letter: A candid friend

21 Mar 2019

Art Fund volunteer Jane Crease responds with incredulity to reports that the charity's financial support for its volunteer network can no longer be justified.

Confusion as Art Fund winds down volunteer network

Photo of a theatre mannequin
15 Mar 2019

The charity says the network was not helping it achieve the “best possible return” on investment, and future plans will instead focus on training and development for museum professionals.

New network to support governance best practice

People sitting at tables in front of a woman giving a presentation
16 Nov 2018

Arts Council England says that if necessary, it will step in and insist on a change of leadership at its funded clients.

Volunteering less popular than five years ago

A steward at Brighton Pride festival
03 Aug 2018

The rate of volunteering at clubs and organisations has not recovered to the levels last seen in 2013/14, and the percentage of people giving to charity has also fallen over the same period.

Funding concerns plague community arts groups, survey finds

Photo of coloured pencils
21 Dec 2017

1,000 people involved in creative groups have revealed why they participate and highlighted the challenges their groups face.

New guide aims to increase compassion in the arts

Photo from Manchester Museum collaboration
20 Dec 2017

Subtle changes could help cultural organisations become more welcoming, attract more visitors and potentially increase donations.


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