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.

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.

 

Print Email

AINews