TAITIMAIL Not so much a dogwhistle as a flogwhistle for our museums

The Royal Academy is famously our one world class art venue that is independent. It gets no subsidy and relies entirely on sponsorship, box office and what it can earn, and runs an art school for which it charges no fee (because that’s what society did 250 years ago). So if museums and galleries are in trouble, you can say that again for the RA.

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TAITMAIL Time to target local arts funding

It’s always gratifying to get a proper think tank endorsing a one-man sort of inkwell tank (ink tank?) and this new report takes on a Taitmail bee - decentralising arts funding and dealing with local shortfalls – with an inarguable opening statement.

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Martin Luther King Jr, London, 1 September 1964 

Alan Sparrow introduces this month’s image

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THE WORD Inside Belarus, where the KGB nurture their pot plants and the state theatre joins the demonstrators

EXCLUSIVE  There are many stories about life inside Belarus, many apocryphal, but the writer and actor Nichola McAuliffe has her own experiences of the Janka Kupal theatre and fears for her heroic friends there

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TAITMAIL Can you trust the board?

The issue of “governance” on running arts originations has always been a thorny one, mostly misunderstood and until fairly recently was never even given a name. Governance, to put it simply, is what boards do.

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AI PROFILE Back to the storyboard

The action documentary Coup 53, about the ousting of the Iranian government exactly 67 years ago today in 1953, is released on the anniversary with new material and with the revolutionary techniques of animator and painter Martyn Pick bringing it to life

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Blueprint for the Great Outdoors

There’s comedy on the beach at Brighton and in the bars of Brixton, opera with the ENO in the gardens at the Alexandra Palace and theatre in a circus tent in Norwich, all part of Without Walls, as Patrick Kelly reports

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GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Culling Culture

The arts face an uphill battle for survival post-Covid and post-Brexit, especially with new restrictions on touring. Even loops in the new rules may not help much, reports Olivia Bridge, political correspondent for the legal consultancy the Immigration Advice Service.

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TAITMAIL The cost of joy

Could this have been true? The story goes that when Keir Starmer recently rang Boris Johnson to ask for theatres to be reopened he got the usual non-committal response of “as soon as we safely can”. But at the end of the call Johnson didn’t hang up properly, and the unmistakable voice of his Senior Adviser could be heard exclaiming: “The last people we’re going to allow back to work is those fucking dancers!” 

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THE WORD Collaboration – the catalyst to save culture

The Catalyst Network is a gathering of entrepreneurial, strategic and operational expertise from across the creative industries that meets regularly to discuss strategic challenges faced by the arts. Kate Rolfe (pictured), the co-chair of the latest Catalyst Thinks discussion, reports on its latest exchanges

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Skegness Beach, summer of 1999, by Tom Pilston

Alan Sparrow introduces this month’s image

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THE WORD Small town boy

By Patrick Kelly, AI’s northern editor

This column is not a particular fan of John Whittingdale, the culture minister and one-time culture secretary, whose fixation with the BBC and its alleged “leftwing” bias distorted his blessedly brief time as government culture supremo.

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