£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.

THE WORD Beyond conflict - the spirit of EdFest, 70 years on

Graham Sheffield, director of arts at the British Council, on the bequest to the world
of the Edinburgh International Festival
as it celebrates its 70th birthday with the ‘Spirit of ’47’, a collaboration across this year’s programme between the festival and the council

The cultural maelstrom that envelops Edinburgh throughout August makes it easy to forget the post-war origins of this international festival. The story has often been told of what led to the selection of Edinburgh as the location (not the first choice of city - Oxford apparently was initially preferred); of the local politics which permeated the early discussions; and of the prescient choice of Rudolf Bing, an Austrian impresario from Germany, who fled the Nazi regime to unlikely success in the UK: first as the Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and thence to Edinburgh, to co-found - with native Scot and Director of the British Council in Scotland, Henry Harvey Wood - and direct the first Edinburgh Inter- national Festival.

This spirit of post-war international collaboration set the festival on a course which has characterised the city in August for the past 70 years, and which infuses not just the Edinburgh International Festival but all of the other myriad festivals which have blossomed from its well-established roots: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival etc. All contribute to the global standing of this beautiful and ancient city, to its reputation as a platform for innovative, off-kilter arts and culture and its international, welcoming outlook.

An anniversary presents a time for comparisons, and the world of 1947 and 2017 throws up interesting contrasts and parallels. We are more aware of the positive influence that the influx of new, international minds can have on culture and society; and up to speed on the positive impact of the free movement of people and ideas across borders, not just in Europe but globally. We can look back with confidence on the origins of EIF, knowing that the impact that the nascent idea of Rudolf Bing and Henry Harvey Wood would have not just on the first festival, but on all subsequent ones.

At the same time, however, the early 21st century has brought uncertainty on a global scale – often drawing parallels with the 1930s, so far re- moved from that post-war spirit.

We have the fallout of the economic crash and old orders displaced; a tectonic shift in how, why and who communicates and who understands; economic migration and refugees. And dominating UK politics is the decision to leave the EU, raising question marks over the future freedom of movement and ideas, through students, artists and communities. The spirit of collaboration – the spirit of 1947 – which has characterised the festivals in Edinburgh for 70 years, could be in question.

This formed the backdrop for the discussions Fergus Linehan, director of Edinburgh International Festival, and I had around the British Council’s contribution to EIF’s 70th Anniversary programme. We wanted to reflect and reiterate the mission of 1947 within today’s world and with- in today’s arts landscape. “Spirit of ‘47” is the result: ten days of performances, films and discussions, with artists from Scotland, England, USA, Ukraine, Lebanon, Cuba, China, Jamaica, Palestine, Chile, Argentina, Syria, Portugal, Germany, Iran, Pakistan and India gathering in Edinburgh in August, along with the thousands of other visitors from all over the world who travel there.

In 1947 the emphasis was on reconnecting Europe, reconciling former adversaries (and allies) in a new spirit of cooperation and collaboration. The programme for the first EIF was weighted towards classical music and theatre. In 2017, however, both EIF’s and our own horizons are broader.

Spirit of ’47 will see veterans from both sides of the Falklands War talking about their experiences on stage together, in the critically acclaimed stage play by Argentinian director Lola Arias, Minefield. It will provide a platform for the Iranian director Azade Shahmiri to explore a not-too- distant dystopian future, where freedom of expression has finally been stifled, in the play Voicelessness. It will bring a group of displaced Syrian artists and lm-makers together to offer a fresh perspective on how war affects the lives of artists – and it will mark the creation of the “New European Songbook”: unique collaborations between musicians from across the continent, performed and recorded live, for a future, European-wide broadcast.

Edinburgh in August provides a gateway into the arts scene of the UK, and a representative picture of the attitudes of inclusivity, curiosity and optimism that can and must continue to characterise our arts and culture. In 1947 the festival’s founders looked at their shattered world and saw the building blocks of something better. In 2017, amid the turbulence of economics and politics, we should think of those pioneers and keep our eyes and minds open for the building blocks of today.

The Edinburgh International Festival is on until August 28 www.eif.co.uk

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