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.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Reimagining Coventry

Jane Hytch on the imagination that brings together innovators in the arts, engineering, design and education and its impact on the city of Coventry

Imagineer is a live events production company that was set up back in 2007. Based in Coventry, we specialise in theatre and outdoor performance, education programmes, special commissions and touring. At the heart of our work is an exploration of the relationship between creative thinkers and innovators from the arts sector and creative engineers, architects, educationalists, special effects artists and designers.

This year, we organised the fourth annual Festival of Imagineers. This extraordinary week-long event is a celebration of arts, ingenuity and design in the beating heart of Coventry and this year’s festival happened at a particularly wonderful time for the city. The short-listing of Coventry as the 2021 City of Culture has brought national and international focus on the cultural capital and output from the region, and we were delighted to highlight this through the festival.

The city of Coventry is an inspiring place to work; a hive of creativity and originality. Through the festival, we link art, design and engineering and act as a catalyst for new creative work at the intersection of art and engineering. We work with creative thinkers and innovators locally, nationally and internationally to create this unique festival of outdoor and site-specific performance and interactive experiences. The aim of the festival is to develop a new relationship with audiences offering people access to hidden spaces, engaging the public as creative collaborators, influencing the development of performances and productions at R&D and concept development stage, making the stage and finally as audiences and critics, as projects are realised.

Year on year, we have seen the festival grow and develop and we have significant plans for the coming years. We are developing a national and international event for 2021, should Coventry become UK City of Culture; an event at the intersection of art and engineering, including a series of national and international commissions.

This year’s Festival of Imagineers was the best yet. We had public performances by artists including Balbir Singh Dance Company, Pif Paf and a co-production of The Winter’s Tale between Imagineer Productions and Teatr Biuro Podrozy. Plus, Helen Marriage from Artichoke delivered a talk in Coventry Cathedral about the company’s extraordinary work, work which has inspired millions of people over the past decade. Throughout the week Cardboardia (an international community of artists, performers, event managers and experts from Russia, USA, UK and the Netherlands) led a making laboratory with local communities. This culminated in walkabout performances for the festival finale combining beautiful and quirky cardboard structures and props, performance, participation, dance and Tyran of Cardboardia’s newly developed giant Alchemical Music Box. On Tuesday 26 September a conference was held for educationalists and industrialists called Inspiring Change. This is the rst regional conference to explore the impact of models on working within education which incorporates arts practice into the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Festival of Imagineers is transforming the cultural landscape of Coventry, and we are very excited to see how this evolves over the next four years and beyond.

About Imagineer Productions

The team which came together to form Imagineer has a wealth of creative arts experience and a strong track record of working together to deliver high quality performances and events. Collectively we have been responsible for many of the major cultural interventions in Coventry over the past three decades including the revival of the Coventry Mystery Plays (2000, 2003 & 2006), founding Coventry Arts Alive, a major festival of new work and outdoor art, National tour of Roald Dahl’s The Twits, the revival of the Coventry Carnival and created MAD UK, a sculptural costume design competition.

One of our most high-pro le commissions was Godiva Awakes – a major project for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad funded by Arts Council England. A beautiful ten-metre-high Lady Godiva, awoke in Coventry and travelled to London to play a part in the London 2012 Celebrations in Victoria Park. This spectacular performance was developed over three years where Godiva, powered by 50 cyclists, joined 2000 dancers, actors, aerialists, musicians, pyrotechnicians and carnivalists travelled in a processional performance with young performers at its heart. This was a moving piece of public art the like of which has never been seen, running on cycle power/sustainable energy.

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