£800k for national loans to local museums

£800k for national loans to local museums

Local and regional museums will be able to borrow treasures from the national collections thanks to a three year grant scheme with £810,000 by the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Art Fund.

TAITMAIL    Council cash crisis? Flog the art

TAITMAIL Council cash crisis? Flog the art

By Patrick Kelly

It may surprise you to know that the TaxPayers’ Alliance, that secretive lobby group that promotes low taxes and free market fetishism, has long had a fixation about art, particularly that art owned by the public.

Visual artists and composers share £600k Hamlyn cash

Visual artists and composers share £600k Hamlyn cash

Five composers and five visual artists have won £60,000 reach in the 25th awarding of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Awards for Artists scheme.

REVIEW   Reverspective: the inside-out-world of Patrick Hughes

REVIEW Reverspective: the inside-out-world of Patrick Hughes

This is a self-portrait of the surrealist artist Patrick Hughes. It looks like a conventional convex life mask, but it isn’t: it’s concave, a paradigm of Hughes’s “reverspective” world.

AI PROFILE    Helen Wallace and the nature of music

AI PROFILE Helen Wallace and the nature of music

What Kings Place’s 2020 season Nature UnwrappedSounds of Life is emphatically not about is climate change. It is so much more.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE The twittering of governance

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE The twittering of governance

A year ago the Cultural Governance Alliance (CGA) was set up by the Clore Leadership Programme, with partners such as UK Theatre, Cause 4 and Association of Independent Museums, writes Simon Tait.

Scottish Portrait Gallery sacks BP

Scottish Portrait Gallery sacks BP

The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), particularly the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG), is ending the relationship with BP, it was announced today.

Casely-Hayford to run V&A East

Casely-Hayford to run V&A East

The cultural historian Gus Casely-Hayford is to be the first director of V&A East when it opens in the Queen Elizabeth Olympics Park, Stratford East, in 2023.

Ellerman Foundation names new chief

Ellerman Foundation names new chief

Sufina Ahmad moves from City of London.

Aberdeen reopens gallery after £35m makeover

Aberdeen reopens gallery after £35m makeover

Aberdeen’s art gallery has reopened after a £35 million makeover.

THE WORD   The operatic canon in crisis?

THE WORD The operatic canon in crisis?

Following an international research project and a meeting of stakeholders at the Royal Opera House earlier this month, the picture remains complex, writes Cormac Newark.

‘Iconic’ Grace Jones to curate Meltdown

‘Iconic’ Grace Jones to curate Meltdown

This year’s guest curator for the Southbank Centre’s Meltdown Festival is to be Grace Jones.

NPG goes on the road in 3 year closure

NPG goes on the road in 3 year closure

The National Portrait Gallery will send its collection on long-term tour while it is closed for a £35.5m development.

ACE’s £12.3m for small enterprises

ACE’s £12.3m for small enterprises

Arts Council England has announced the 46 organisations, from the Onion Collective in West Somerset to the Gecko Theatre in Ipswich, that will share £12.3m in the latest round of Small Capital Grants.

Steve McQueen’s portrait – of London

Steve McQueen’s portrait – of London

Turner Prize and Oscar winning artist Steve McQueen today launched 613 billboards of class photographs, such as the main image, as a comprehensive portrait of London.

Eclipse Theatre’s new leadership

Eclipse Theatre’s new leadership

Eclipse Theatre, the Sheffield-based black-led national touring company, has announced a new leadership, taking over from Dawn Butler who left earlier this year after a decade in charge.

Worthing’s theatres leave council control

Worthing’s theatres leave council control

Worthing’s theatres, museum and art gallery have today transferred from the local authority to an independent charity.

Arts get manifestos in early

Arts get manifestos in early

Arts organisations are hoping to influence the general election contenders by publishing their own manifestos early in the campaign.

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Fireworks on Blackheath, South London, tower over the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, Nov 4, 2017 (a three image combo), by Roger Jackson

Alan Sparrow introduces this month’s image

World’s largest study of the arts’ impact on health

World’s largest study of the arts’ impact on health

The world’s largest study into the impact on mental and physical health that artistic interventions can have has been launched by King’s College London, with £2m funding from the Wellcome Trust.

Brexit may cost Birmingham millions in music income

Brexit may cost Birmingham millions in music income

Brexit could devastate the West Midlands’ vibrant music tourism, according got a report published today (Oct 29).

Independent museums worth £28m a year

Independent museums worth £28m a year

The United Kingdom’s unsubsidised museum sector is earning the Exchequer more than £28m a year, drawing over 24m visitors.

App opens Edinburgh gallery to disabled art lovers

App opens Edinburgh gallery to disabled art lovers

The gallery and studio Edinburgh Printmakers is welcoming a new audience, the disabled, thanks to new technology.

TAITMAIL   Peace and understanding

TAITMAIL Peace and understanding

There’s a startling symmetry about Martin Jenkinson’s image of the Orgreave confrontation during the Miners’ Strike in 1984 – our Picture of the Month last year – and last week’s picture of red-clad Druids in a more peaceful coming together from the Extinction Rebellion demonstration last week. The first face-off didn’t work, the miners lost: the second one might, and the difference is art.

Ting-ting! Here comes a new funding cycle

Nicholas Serota was like a boy with a new bike, going through the gears, testing its turning circle, seeing how far he could push it but not braking too hard.

He was announcing what he expansively called “the largest ever increase in Arts Council England’s portfolio” – but so much has changed in the last five or six years, how can one tell? The ACE press release was more circumspect, referring to a “significant increase”, but the chairman didn’t want the council to hide its light.
 
What he, CEO Darren Henley and the Bloomsbury geeks who do the sums have managed to achieve is the momentum shift to regional funding they have been told to do by select committees and successive culture secretaries without doing noticeable damage to London, even adding a few London arts organisations to the national portfolio. Grants in London are down 3.8%, up in the regions by an average 22.35%. They have also extended the three year funding round to four to make planning easier and reduce time spent filling in grant application forms.
 
So the sleight of hand ACE has done is to take the new additionality rules about the national lottery to heart and use its lottery reserves to give £170m more to the regions over the four years, and leave London on more or less standstill with the four big national clients, the Royal Opera House, National Theatre, RSC and Southbank Centre, being persuaded to take a 3% cut – well, they are better placed to get alternative funding, that’s pragmatism.
 
Much is made of the return of English National Opera to the national portfolio it was cast out of three years ago with a £5m a year cut in its grant, but what does being brought back mean? Nothing in the funding sense, because the grant they already get as a non-NPO is not to be increased, so that by 2022 and the end of this funding round they will be considerably worse off in real terms. But as ENO’s CEO Cressida Pollock says, the loss of the money is bad but the loss of the Arts Council’s imprimatur disastrous for fundraising. Sponsors, foundations and philanthropists like to see that ACE logo on the begging letter.
 
And there’s Bristol’s Arnolfini, which after been in the portfolio since it was set up 13 years ago, has been cast out into the night, with nothing. All its £750,000 a year has been ripped from its grasp, just as a new director takes over, because - like ENO three years ago - its business model wasn’t good enough. Serota hints that the Arnolfini, which he knows well from his Tate years, will be back after some nursing, but that won’t help as the gallery approaches an ACE grantless four years, not even the three years ENO had to endure.
 
But it is a subtle change. Whether they have cultural responsibility or not - some do, some don’t – ACE will be clustering around the new metropolitan mayors to continue the task of negotiating partnerships that might to some extent ameliorate the effects of local authority arts funding cuts, because that is where the new power bases are going to be. That they've announced will good with them
 
So it’s both bold and nuanced, this new journey ACE has set off on, and given his evident enthusiasm for his new form of transport, Serota looks unlikely to fall off his new bike soon.

 

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