Antony Sher dies

Antony Sher dies

Sir Antony Sher, perhaps the finest actor of his generation, has died aged 72, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced today.

TAITMAIL   Behind the battlements

TAITMAIL Behind the battlements

Nottingham Castle Museum was doing well, for a museum without much real history left to talk about, and it was getting a healthy 150,000 visitors a year - about half what Stonehenge gets - before it closed for its £30m refurb which it was hoped would double the numbers. 

Shebeen culture wins Turner Prize

Shebeen culture wins Turner Prize

Array Collective, the Belfast co-operative of 11 artists whose nominated work, The Druithaib’s Ball, is an installation centred on an illicit Irish drinking den described as “a place to gather outside the sectarian divides”, has won the 2021 Turner Prize.

ACE’s £38.3m for local culture

ACE’s £38.3m for local culture

Arts Council England has today announced grants worth £38.3m for the programme that makes partners of cultural organisations and communities.

Bird to quit SOLT and UK Theatre

Bird to quit SOLT and UK Theatre

Julian Bird is to stand down as CEO of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre after more than 11 years. 

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

London’s East End, June, 1957, by Frank Pocklington

Alan Sparrow talks to Frank Pocklington about his favourite Picture Post photograph

Sacha Craddock stands down at New Contemporaries

Sacha Craddock stands down at New Contemporaries

Sacha Craddock is stepping down as chair of New Contemporaries, the organisation set up more than 70 years ago to support emerging visual artists with touring exhibitions of their work.

Eilish McGuinness takes over at NHLF

Eilish McGuinness takes over at NHLF

Eilish McGuinness is to take over from Ros Kerslake as CEO of the National Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of the year.

Lewisham’s year of diverse culture

Lewisham’s year of diverse culture

Lewisham is to be London’s next Borough of Culture for 2022, focusing on diversity, activism and the climate emergency in a programme that was announced at the Rivoli Ballroom today.

Emmie Kell is ACE's new museums chief

Emmie Kell is ACE's new museums chief

Emmie Kell, CEO of the Cornwall Museums Partnership, is to be Arts Council England’s new director of museums and cultural property.

Merger creates Creative UK

Merger creates Creative UK

The Creative Industries Federation and Creative England have merged today to become Creative UK, bringing together the advocacy work of one body and the investment expertise and practical support of the other.

Kathryn Jacob to chair HOME

Kathryn Jacob to chair HOME

Kathryn Jacob, CEO of the cinema advertising agency Pearl & Dean, is to be the new chair of the Manchester arts centre HOME.

33% of musicians still earning nothing from music

33% of musicians still earning nothing from music

A third of our professional musicians are earning nothing from music and 87% are earning less than £1,000 a month, according to new figures today from the charity Help Musicians.

£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

The Art Fund has launched a £1m fundraising campaign to help museums attract under 24-year-olds.

Another £107m for arts recovery

Another £107m for arts recovery

Almost 1,000 arts organisations are to benefit from a new round of £107m worth of grants from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

£5m for community jubilee parties

£5m for community jubilee parties

A new Arts Council fund is offering £5m to help voluntary and community organisations celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year.

Curators share £300k development funding

Curators share £300k development funding

The Art Fund has named the 11 museum professionals that will share the Headley Fellowship’s grants this year worth £302,500 to extend their collections knowledge.

THE WORD   Under-estimating the power of the tweet

THE WORD Under-estimating the power of the tweet

Social media have become essential to arts organisations, says a new report, and often rely on underpaid and under-resourced operators. Alice Kent of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre asks what can professional networks, industry, funders and policy-makers do to ensure that digital workers are better supported

Birthday royal sculptures for Albert Hall

Birthday royal sculptures for Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall has commissioned sculptures of the Queen, Prince Philip, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from four young artists to mark its 150th anniversary.

Ten Manchester music creatives offered £1k development packages

Ten Manchester music creatives offered £1k development packages

Manchester International Festival is offering £1,000 each to ten local musicians to help them create new work as part of its MIF Sounds initiative, launched last year at the height of the pandemic.

Florence Nightingale joins Lord Mayor’s parade

Florence Nightingale joins Lord Mayor’s parade

Marking the completion of her 200th birthday celebrations., Florence Nightingale joined the Lord Mayor of London’s Show at the weekend.

Giant print plant plays host to classical experiment

Giant print plant plays host to classical experiment

A printing plant that once one of the largest in Europe has been the venue for a pioneering immersive concert.

Mariam Zulfiqar to lead Artangel

Mariam Zulfiqar to lead Artangel

Mariam Zulfiqar, Forestry England’s contemporary art programme manager since March this year, is to be the new director or of the public art producer Artangel.

Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

The Barbican has vowed to take decisive action “to build a culture where staff feel confident, valued and respected” following a damning report by an independent investigation team.

Cardiff’s shout

 

The arts festival season is here with the Brighton programme the traditional curtain-raiser for the 50 or so top line events this summer which the Edinburgh and Manchester editions dominate. But there is a new one next month to join them, in a place that has been an unproclaimed capital of culture since long before it became a national capital 60 years ago.

 

Yes Cardiff, with an extraordinary melange devised by a young man born in Sunderland who made his name first in Belfast and then in Derry. When he was appointed, all but 18 months ago, it was to a new post of artistic director at an institution that had had a rather chaotic management start in 2005, the Wales Millennium Centre, with a brief to “change the cultural landscape of Wales”. Graeme Farrow, for it is he, didn’t blanch but already had an idea on the back of an envelope, and idea which didn’t change, just grew into the Festival of Voice, stashed with commissions, co-pros and premieres.

It might seem obvious to make a theme of the one thing apart from coal and seaweed Wales is known for, but in collusion with the likes of David Pountney at the WNO and at first John McGrath (now running the Manchester Festival) and since January Kully Thiarai (who ran Doncaster’s Cast theatre) at National Theatre Wales he has devised a bill that is anything but predictable. It brings John Cale back to his native Wales from rock superstardom, rehabilitates Charlotte Church as an “astounding talent” with her own piece of musical theatre, presents Ronnie Spector whose Welshness is remote but whose iconic status undoubted, the Manic Street Preachers from Caerphilly, ahem Roald Dahl (born in Cardiff 100 years ago) Canadian Rufus Wainwright whose Celtic antecedents are rather more Irish, Van Morrison, Hugh Masakela… and of course the indelibly Welsh Bryn, whose own attempts to establish a Welsh cultural festival to the north was a dismal failure. Juliet Greco was even booked to do Brel but at 89 has had to drop out.

Farrow’s mission has been complex: to transpose the WMC from a large receiving house and comfy home for the WNO to a commissioning powerhouse sprouting new work and venturesome audiences; a national totem that all Wales could be proud of; a place that makes money to put back into its community and production programmes; and with an international flavour and reputation. This is his first real response.

It’s a biennial, interleaving with the other major biennial event there, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, and Farrow is already talking about what he wants to do in 2018. It probably won’t include Tom Jones or Shirley Bassey, but look for Charlotte Church’s and James Dean Bradfield’s corroborative take on Charlie and the Mabinogion, with the Berlin Philharmonic.

 

 

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