A photo of statues of angels, one with a gag over its mouth
20 Feb 2020 Feature

As ArtsProfessional unveils the explosive findings from its recent Freedom of Expression survey, Liz Hill examines the soul of a sector that believes it is owed artistic freedom but doesn’t tolerate freedom of speech within its own ranks.

You might expect those working in the cultural sector to be open and tolerant of each other, welcoming of debate and diverse opinion, and prepared to stand up and challenge the status quo. Indeed, nine out of ten respondents to AP’s Freedom of Expression survey, published today, agreed that “The arts and cultural sector has a responsibility to use its unique talents to speak out about things that matter, regardless of the potential consequences” – a very positive endorsement of the... more

A photo of violinists playing in an orchestra 20 Feb 2020 Feature

Reflecting on being wrongfully dismissed by the Royal Academy of Music, Dr Francesca Carpos says the sector must create a culture where controversial issues can be discussed without fear of unfair retribution.

A photo of a punk performance by Jayne County 20 Feb 2020 Opinion

Yes, my crude social media posts may have caused offence – but we can't only allow speech we find agreeable, says Manick Govinda.

20 Feb 2020 Feature

It’s often easier to steer clear of challenging issues – but we will all lose out if we censor material we find difficult, argues Julia Farrington.

A photo of two men drumming at an anti-Brexit protest 20 Feb 2020 Feature

The liberal, left-leaning values of cultural workers leads to “a divergence in worldviews between those tasked with representing the nation to itself, and those who inhabit it”, reports Adele Redmond.

A photo of band performing on a brightly lit stage 13 Feb 2020 Feature

Striking differences between urban and rural areas make a strong case for a dual regional policy, argue Anne Torreggiani and Zoe Papiernik-Bloor.

A photo of a brightly-lit sculpture on an outside wall 13 Feb 2020 Feature

The city has no intention of shirking difficult challenges in its year as UK City of Culture, writes Chenine Bhathena.

A photo of a man sleeping in a hammock 13 Feb 2020 Feature

We need bold new cultural infrastructures to tackle entrenched inequality in the arts, says Amahra Spence. Can a new project combine business nous with social justice?

A diverse group of people gathering for a show at the Shop Front Theatre 13 Feb 2020 Feature

Creating a theatre inside an empty shop challenges top down hierarchical systems and provides a safe space for conversations, says Julia Negus.

A photo of rows of T shirts with Heavy Metal logos 13 Feb 2020 Opinion

Regeneration is all very well – but it is only through celebrating its authentic working class culture that the city can discover a beating heart and soul, says Lisa Meyer.

A close up photo of a persons' hands resting on a pink handbag 13 Feb 2020 Case study

Pauline Bailey looks back on a project that developed social confidence and artistic expression among Birmingham's BAME elders.

Close up of National lottery balls 06 Feb 2020 Feature

Our sector relies on the National Lottery for over a third of its public investment in a country where almost half a million people have a serious problem with gambling. It’s time we re-examined our attitudes towards it, says Adam Pushkin.

Greta Thunberg addresses climate strikers at Civic Center Park in Denver 06 Feb 2020 Feature

Arts charities are becoming organisational dinosaurs with models not fit for purpose. Rise to the challenge or face extinction, says Michelle Wright.

A photo of placards at a climate protest 06 Feb 2020 Feature

In the ethical spotlight? Get on the front foot by appealing to values, says Kate Fielding. You need to explain what you’re doing and why.

A photo of the Angel of the North sculpture 06 Feb 2020 Feature

The North leads the way in using culture to connect people with their past, present, and future. So why does publishing remain so London-centric, asks Katy Shaw.

A photo of three men playing in a band 30 Jan 2020 Feature

ACE is right to focus on libraries in its new strategy, says Hassan Vawda – but it must put communities at the heart of its plans to revive them.