MY STORY   Living with the immigrants in our garden

MY STORY Living with the immigrants in our garden

Diversity isn’t just for people, it extends to the plant kingdom too and a soon to be published study shows that three-quarters of the plants in our city gardens are non-native. Next year Birmingham’s Victoria Square will be given over to PoliNations, a celebration of horticultural as well as human diversity which is commissioned as part of UNBOXED, next year’s festival of the UK’s creativity marking the Queen’s platinum jubilee. Its creative director is Angie Bual, artistic director of the Bristol based arts organisation Trigger which makes outdoor and site specific live theatre.

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.

Hull’s cultural explosion seen by 5.3m

A total audience of 5.3m went to 2,800 events in Hull during its successful UK City of Culture year in 2012, according to the University of Hull.

The university’s research showed that half the audience was from Hull, that over 95% attended at least one cultural activity in the year, with a rising level of local people willing to take part or act as volunteers.

The total number of visitors in 2017 was 6m, 1.3m more than when the bid was made in 2013. Successful applications to the Arts Council’s grants for the Arts scheme for Hull projects in the year rose by 346% https://www.hull2017.co.uk.

The report is released today as the university's culture, place and policy institute hosts a conference – Cultural Transformations: The Impacts of Hill City of Culture 2017 -  to explore the results and lessons of the city’s year in the cultural spotlight http://www.hull.ac.uk/beta/research/institutes/culture-place-and-policy-institute/culture-place-and-policy-institute.aspx.

Statistics show that 300 venues were used, 2,400 volunteers committed the equivalent of 38.5 years worth £54m, and that more than £32m, twice the original target, was raised from 80 funding partners enhancing the £3.6m investment of the city council.

The report also analyses the effects of the year in place-making and shows an increase in  residents’ pride in Hull, and publicity from more than 20,000 articles printed, broadcast and posted worth £450m. Of those who visited Hull, 75% their perceptions of the city had been changed by the visit and 61% would return. Half of the commissions were inspired by Hull’s heritage, and a £27m plan has now been launched to create a maritime heritage centre. This spring a new 3,500-seat mlti-disciplinary arts venue will open.

The report says the year demonstrated the social impact the arts can have on a population, and the conference is expected to examine how the title has worked as a catalyst for culture-led regeneration.

The Creative and Culture Company was set up to deliver the programme for 2017 and has now been permanently established to take the legacy forward. "This early evaluation shows that Hull being UK City of Culture touched the lives of almost everyone living here. It increased the already fierce pride in their city and changed perceptions here and across the country” said Katy Fuller, the company’s creative director. 

"That it has had an impact on the bottom line is fantastic, but most important is how it has empowered people, as audiences, participants and artists. It offered unparalleled opportunities for artists to take risks, try new things and flex their creativity due to the huge number of new commissions. I believe this has had a direct impact on the levels of audience engagement, resulting, as it does, in work which is relevant, resonant and truly reflects the context.

"The vision of Hull City Council and support from the many funding and creative partners cannot be overstated and this continued working together will be critical to the future success of this great city, economically and as a centre for culture and creativity."

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