London’s other rivers

London’s other rivers

The capital has been shaped by its natural waterways, as a new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands reveals

TAITMAIL    You couldn’t sing an aria about it

TAITMAIL You couldn’t sing an aria about it

Someone HAS to write an opera about opera. Better, a soap opera. Sex, death, plot lurches, vast personalities and gorgeous costumes, it's all there.

Into the woods for Grange Park Opera

Into the woods for Grange Park Opera

There are two Grange opera festivals this summer, based at two different country houses in Hampshire and Surrey, both created by the conductor Wasfi Kani. Simon Tait visited the newest

MY STORY    Helping artists to value themselves

MY STORY Helping artists to value themselves

Jerwood Arts’ new director, Lilli Geissendorfer, has introduced three new funds to the charity’s operations, and for one is announcing bursary beneficiaries whose careers could be shaped by them

Heritage high streets get £62m boost

Heritage high streets get £62m boost

High street buildings are to be turned into creative spaces thanks to a new £62m government fund, the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport has announced.

Hogarth, the noisy painter

Hogarth, the noisy painter

A new exhibition at the Foundling Museum takes a single painting of 18th century life as its subject

First affordable CEZ artists’ studios open

First affordable CEZ artists’ studios open

Eighty-five affordable artists’ studios have opened in Deptford, South London, as part of the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone scheme.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE  Dancing into the big top

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Dancing into the big top

Clare Limb, head of dance development & learning for Déda, the Derby-based dance and outdoor performance development agency, on bringing dance and contemporary circus together in learning and participation

Plymouth to reopen Elizabethan House museum

Plymouth to reopen Elizabethan House museum

£2m restoration will finish in 2020

Lottery support for Northern arts organisations

Lottery support for Northern arts organisations

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is backing a new scheme, to be run by Creative United, help cultural organisations in the North with business advice.

Fears over Brexit fuel art exports to EU

Fears over Brexit fuel art exports to EU

The value of art, collectors' pieces and antiques exported from the UK rose to a three year high of £5.4bn in 2018, up from £5.1bn in 2017.

AI PROFILE   Cynthia Corbett and living with art

AI PROFILE Cynthia Corbett and living with art

The Cynthia Corbett Gallery is in a former 1860s convent in a leafy corner of Wimbledon, not the kind of venue you would expect to be a nurturing place for artistic talent.

Peter Hall’s theatre facing closure

Peter Hall’s theatre facing closure

Kingston Council’s withdrawal of funding may see the closure of the Rose Theatre, created by Sir Peter Hall and opened in 2008.

 The Rose 30 years on: how it was saved

The Rose 30 years on: how it was saved

It was on a barmy early summer Sunday afternoon in 1989, exactly 30 years ago, when the Rose Theatre was saved. Simon Tait was there

Export block on judge’s Chatterley copy

Export block on judge’s Chatterley copy

The government has put a temporary block on the copy of D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover used by the judge at the novel’s obscenity trial in 1960 – perhaps the most famous Old Bailey trial of the 20th century - complete with his wife’s annotations.

Cabaret’s automata delight returns to London

Cabaret’s automata delight returns to London

The automota show Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, for 15 years a feature of Covent Garden, has a new show in London with the artist Paul Spooner – thanks to the inspiration it gave a teenage visitor

Armitage the new Poet Laureate

Armitage the new Poet Laureate

Simon Armitage has been appointed the new Poet Laureate, following an unexpectedly troubled search for Dame Carol Ann Duffy’s successor.

THE WORD Where are non-western artists in contemporary galleries?

THE WORD Where are non-western artists in contemporary galleries?

Faiza Butt is a Pakistani artist whose work is held in private and public collections including the British Museum and the Kiran Nadar Museum, Delhi

Wales consider arts for core subject

Wales consider arts for core subject

Arts subjects could become a core class for Welsh school children if a proposed new curriculum is put in place.

Bristol's Bricks aim to reclaim police station for the arts

Bristol's Bricks aim to reclaim police station for the arts

Bristol's arts charity Bricks are hoping to create a new arts hub in one of the city's old police station.

Arts Council Northern Ireland pays executive £12k in discrimination case

Arts Council Northern Ireland pays executive £12k in discrimination case

Arts Council Northern Ireland has paid £12,000 to its chief executive Roisin McDonough after settling an age discrimination case.

The David Parr House: Cambridge's Arts & Crafts home opens to the public

The David Parr House: Cambridge's Arts & Crafts home opens to the public

The David Parr House, the Cambridge home of William Morris' Arts & Crafts collaborator, is to open to the public.

Saatchi Gallery covers artworks after complaints from Muslim visitors

Saatchi Gallery covers artworks after complaints from Muslim visitors

The Saatchi Gallery in West London has taken the decision to cover up works by artists SKU that feature an Islamic declaration of faith, following complaints from Muslim visitors that they are blasphemous.

Anthony Caro: Seven Decades @ Annely Juda Fine Art - REVIEW

Anthony Caro: Seven Decades @ Annely Juda Fine Art - REVIEW

In our new review feature Adam Anderson considers the unending story of Britain's game-changing sculptor, Anthony Caro. 

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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