Friday, 29 May 2020
Julian Knight MP, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee

BAME arts leaders, the community arts sector and the Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee have all raised concerns that those with the ear of Government are not representative of the sector.

Following last week’s announcement of the membership of the DCMS Cultural Renewal Taskforce, concerns have grown that major arts institutions are dominating influential forums where the future of the arts sector will be discussed and decided. In the House of Lords, Baroness Deborah Bull asked DCMS ministers to “ensure that the diversity of the sector is better reflected in the make-up of the... read more
Wednesday, 03 June 2020

As cultural organisations post positive messages of support for the Black community on social media, Twitter has been alive with comments accusing them of “virtue signalling” while failing to address their own racism.

white male singer on stage wearing a 'Love Music Hate Racism' tee shirt
Photo:

Gergely Csatari (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A show of solidarity with Black communities has seen artists and arts organisations across the UK join with the American music business to acknowledge #TheShowMustBePaused, a day of reflection on the racism and inequalities facing those from BAME backgrounds. TV channels and radio stations changed... read more
Wednesday, 03 June 2020

The effectiveness of a community dance programme in reducing falls among older people has been praised as “an example of ‘super social-prescribing’.”

a younger female dancing with an older black gentleman
Photo:

Andy Barker

A pioneering dance programme has found a cost-effective way of reducing the number of falls among older people, according to new research by the Sport Injury Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Around one third of people aged over 65 and half of those over 80 fall at least once a year.... read more
Tuesday, 02 June 2020

The popularity of draw-based games improved returns to good causes last year, but heavy reliance on retail sales points to a “challenging” year ahead for National Lottery operator Camelot.

lottery balls spinning
Photo:

Dylan Nolte on Unsplash

National Lottery returns to good causes grew to almost £1.8 billion in 2019/20, an increase of £181m – over 11% – on the previous year. £360m goes to the UK’s national arts councils for distribution across the four countries of the UK. As last year, Camelot top-sliced its returns to good causes to... read more
Monday, 01 June 2020

A tapering extension to pay protection for furloughed employees and Government refusal to acknowledge groups that have fallen through the gaps in its Covid-19 support schemes offer no comfort to the arts.

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Calls for the Government to recognise the unique circumstances of cultural sector and the perilous situation facing the many workers who fall through the gaps between the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) have failed to influence the... read more
Friday, 29 May 2020

A quarter of UK employees are on furlough, but in the arts the figure is around two-thirds, Government figures reveal.

We're closed due to Covid-19 sign outside a public building
Photo:

Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

Official Government estimates suggest that 82% of businesses in the ‘Arts, Entertainment and Recreation’ industry have temporarily closed or ceased trading through the coronavirus crisis in England. This is the highest of all industrial sectors. Similarly, the proportion of the employed arts... read more
Friday, 29 May 2020

Museums and galleries are preparing to address the conflicting challenges of attracting audiences back whilst having to postpone the most popular exhibitions until social distancing measures are lifted.

man and woman sitting on a bench looking at a painting in a gallery - view from behind the couple
Photo:

Eri Pançi on Unsplash

The most pressing concern facing almost all museums and galleries is how they can reopen safely and attract audiences back, according to research commissioned by Art Fund. Eight out of ten museum directors are worried about their ability to attract visitors back when they reopen and over half are... read more
Thursday, 28 May 2020

A chorus of dismay is growing in response to the deepening financial crisis facing many of the artistic and creative workers who form the largest part of the arts sector, and on whom the UK's arts infrastructure depends.

a man sitting behind a drum-kit in the foreground and a man standing in the background with a keyboard
Photo:

Alessandro Vallainc on Unsplash

A 700-signature letter has been sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for action to address the dire situation facing many self employed workers in the cultural sector. At the same time, organisations receiving public funding have stepped forward to pledge their support for contractual workers,... read more
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Thursday, 28 May 2020

The growth of online sales has expanded the craft market and provided more opportunities for disabled people, but fears are growing over the impact of Brexit, rising costs and competition forcing prices down.

stylish lounge with classic upholstered furniture
Photo:

Alun Callender

The strength and growth of interest in British craft indicates the maturing of the market, according to a new landmark report analysing the market for craft, and how this has changed over more than a decade. The findings reveal there is a new generation of savvy younger craft consumers coming... read more
Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Commission will be asking fundamental questions about how the union organises, represents and fights for Black and minority ethnic workers, hoping to achieve reconciliation after a recent period of acrimony.

rear view of protestors on an anti racism march holding banners
Photo:

Henry Be on Unsplash

Actors’ Union Equity has announced the launch of an Independent Commission for Race Equality (ICRE) to “improve employment practices for black and minority ethnic workers across the entertainment industry in a post-COVID landscape.” This move follows the acrimonious resignation of all members of... read more
Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Huge public anger over ticketing companies’ foot-dragging approach to offering refunds for cancelled and postponed events continues to boil on social media.

view across a pop concert from the back of an auditorium
Photo:

Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash

Fury over ticketing companies’ apparent reluctance to refund money paid up front for cancelled and rescheduled shows has led to official complaints through the Government’s Coronavirus Business Complaints Service and requests for consumer watchdogs to intervene. Nine weeks after the lockdown began... read more
Friday, 22 May 2020

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is asking senior representatives across the DCMS portfolio to find “creative ways to get these sectors up and running again”, but there is no talk of a cash injection to secure their future.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden
Photo:

(CC BY 3.0)

A Cultural Renewal Taskforce to be chaired by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has been set up to develop a blueprint for how and when closed cultural and leisure businesses and venues can reopen safely. The ‘recreation and leisure’ taskforce – one of five being established across government... read more