Royal Docks to be London’s £5bn new cultural quarter

Royal Docks to be London’s £5bn new cultural quarter

The mayors of London and Newham have declared the Royal Docks a new cultural quarter for the capital that could generate £5bn in investment over the next 20 years, as a new festival, Royal Docks Originals, opens.

TAITMAIL   Wars of empire as real people saw them

TAITMAIL Wars of empire as real people saw them

TOTAL WAR! the didactic shouts at the start of the Imperial War Museum’s new permanent exhibition: the concept realised for the first time with the Second World War that non-combatants as well as combatants were considered legitimate targets.

Lost Tiepolo drawing turns up in Sitwells’ attic

Lost Tiepolo drawing turns up in Sitwells’ attic

An exquisite drawing by Tiepolo, one of the masters of Venice’s 18th century golden age, has been found in an attic, covered in bubble-wrap.

Anne Seymour Damer: the forgotten ‘female genius’

Anne Seymour Damer: the forgotten ‘female genius’

Horace Walpole described the sculptor Anne Seymour Damer as “a female genius”, yet her work is barely known now, almost 200 years after her death.

Rail boost for regional theatres

Rail boost for regional theatres

A railway company has teamed up with a group of regional theatres to boost their audiences following the Covid emergency.

Tiny Alnwick museum is UK's most friendly

Tiny Alnwick museum is UK's most friendly

The tiny Bailffgate Museum & Gallery in Alnwick, Northumberland, is the winner of this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award.

Cornwall and Durham longlisted for City of Culture 2025

Cornwall and Durham longlisted for City of Culture 2025

The government has announced the eight cities and conurbations that will vie to be City of Culture 2025, in succession to Coventry this year.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE    Borough culture power versus Covid

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Borough culture power versus Covid

In 2019 Waltham Forest was the first of mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Boroughs of Culture. Lorna Lee, assistant director of culture at Waltham Forest Council, shows how the structure built then helped its communities through the pandemic

Ex-director quits Science Museum board over sponsorship

Ex-director quits Science Museum board over sponsorship

Chris Rapley, the former director of the Science Museum, has resigned from its advisory board in the escalating row over its sponsorship by Shell.

£1m to give the world new British films

£1m to give the world new British films

The UK Global Screen Fund is to give £1m to help 18 new productions to get international showings.

MIMA offers first curating apprenticeship degrees

MIMA offers first curating apprenticeship degrees

In a ground-breaking move for careers in museums and galleries Middlesbrough’s MIMA School of Art and Design is offering the UK’s first combined masters and higher degree apprenticeship (HAD) in curating.

New £2m fund to help museums make ‘miracles on a shoestring’

New £2m fund to help museums make ‘miracles on a shoestring’

Art Fund today announces the first round of a new £2m grant stream, Reimagine, to enable museums, galleries and historic houses to connect with their communities better.

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Into the Twilight Zone, 6.45pm, 25th September 2018, by Roger Jackson

Alan Sparrow with an image of St Paul’s and the City a sunset

Museum of Childhood’s £13m transformation – to Young V&A

Museum of Childhood’s £13m transformation – to Young V&A

Work has begun on the £13m transformation of the V&A’s Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, East London. It is due to reopen in 2023.

UK arts councils combine for international fund

UK arts councils combine for international fund

The four nations’ arts councils have collaborated on a new fund to encourage international partnerships on arts projects.

Double sculpture makes Shard London’s international meeting point

Double sculpture makes Shard London’s international meeting point

A new public sculpture by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa that celebrates both internationalism and diversity has been unveiled at the point where the Shard, London’s tallest building, meets London Bridge Station.

Fund opens for ‘arts for social change’ projects

Fund opens for ‘arts for social change’ projects

Two charities have combined to cdevise a fund that supports arts collaborations for social change.

Courtauld reopens in November after £57m make-over

Courtauld reopens in November after £57m make-over

The Courtauld Gallery is to reopen in November after three years’ closure following its £57m modernisation, the most significant in its history.

Abigail Morris to head Mountview

Abigail Morris to head Mountview

Abigail Morris, the former director of the Jewish Museum and before that of Soho Theatre, is to be the new CEO of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Cameron gets his own ‘Mack’ - in Peckham

Cameron gets his own ‘Mack’ - in Peckham

The Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts is to name its new theatre “The Mack” after its supporter, the West End producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who has given £1m towards the new building.

Himid wins Government Art Collection commission

Himid wins Government Art Collection commission

Lubaina Himid has won the Government Art Collection’s annual commission, with the result unveiled today.  

Ex-arts minister Gowrie dies aged 81

Ex-arts minister Gowrie dies aged 81

The Earl of Gowrie, arts minister under Margaret Thatcher and later chairman of the Arts Council, has died aged 81 after a long illness.

Robot painting a first for RA's Summer Exhibition

Robot painting a first for RA's Summer Exhibition

A portrait of the artist Yinka Shonibare is the first robot painting to be selected for the Royal Academy’s annual showcase of contemporary talent, the Summer Exhibition.

Tate’s Clarrie Wallis to head Turner Contemporary

Tate’s Clarrie Wallis to head Turner Contemporary

Clarrie Wallis, Tate’s senior curator of British contemporary art, is to be the new director of Turner Contemporary at Margate, succeeding Victoria Pomery who has left to be the director of The Box in Plymouth.

Councils’ funding crisis threat to theatres

Local authorities’ funding shortfalls are leading the closure of viable theatres, said Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan today.

Speaking at the launch of the trust’s annual Theatres at Risk register, he pointed to the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough as one that had been removed from the list – because Scarborough had decided to spend £4m on demolishing it in March rather than finding means of restoring what is still a viable venue.

Image: Streatham Hill Theatre as a bingo hall, picture Tim Hatcher

“Local authorities, with 70-75% cuts, are under pressure” he said “but there are things they can do in these difficult times. The Futurist is a case where the council could not see the benefits of their local theatre”.  The Futurist, built in 1921 as cinema/theatre with seating for over 2,000, was taken over the council in the 1980s, and it voted to demolish it by a margin of 21 to 20.

All of the 35 theatres on this year’s list had the potential to be viable, he said, but councils need to be more aware of the value to the local economy of a working venue. They should review the  effects on  the  economy and local society before deciding to demolish theatres; should support  community groups in their attempts to  stop demolition; should include culture in local development plans; should remind  venue owners of their responsibilities to buildings’ upkeep; should assist with viability studies; should offer reasonable leases  on council-owned theatres, longer than  the normal five years; should charge affordable  rather than market  rents; and should help schemes gain capital grants.

New to the list this year Theatre Royal, re-added having been removed in 2012 because it needs capital improvements for which there is no funding; and the Grade II listed Streatham Hill Theatre whose future is unclear since the bingo operation that occupied it closed.

A potential success story on the list is the Bradford Odeon, close to demolition four years ago but now taken on a by a local group, Bradford Live, and with the support of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and the community a consortium has been set up with NEC Birmingham, as operator to revive the largest mid-scale theatre outside London.

 

 

 

 

 

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