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. 

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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

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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

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MY STORY Unlocking the passion for opera

On November 5 the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama launches Opera 360, an MA course designed to develop and nurture a passion for opera in music students and through them the wider public. Its leader is James Lea

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THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Death of Gaddafi, Misrata, Libya, 22nd October 2011, by Lucy Young

Alan Sparrow talks to Lucy Young about how a moment in history was captured

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Destination Margate, art’s new mecca, thanks to its gallery

Ten years ago Margate was the forgotten seaside resort. Its shops were boarded up, its arcades closed, its inhabitants complaining about the influx of supposedly illegal immigrants. Then they built an art gallery on the seafront. Simon Tait finds out what happened next

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TAITMAIL The Mechanics of community life

Marsden is not one of those places whose name resonates in the annals of the arts world. Indeed, for many people travelling by train from Leeds to Manchester it’s no more than the briefly witnessed name of a station as your carriage whizzes past (though perhaps “whiz” is the wrong verb in the context of a journey that takes the best part of two hours to traverse a distance of just over 43 miles). 

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THE WORD Elitism - design’s forgotten pandemic

As the cultural sector works at recovering from the effects of the coronavirus emergency, we urgently need to address exclusion and inequality. However, interior design is falling behind the rest of the creative industries, says Stella Gittins, co-founder and group director of The Accouter Group of Companies interior design consultants, which the government as well as the industry itself needs to address

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MY STORY Blood and wonder of the gipsy opera

Carlo Rizzi, artistic director, Opera Rara

Opera Rara, the company that rediscovers, restores, records and performs lost operatic masterpieces, is reviving Ruggero Leoncavallo’s second most popular opera (after Pagliacci), Zingari, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Cadogan Hall in December. It will be conducted by Carlo Rizzi, the former music director of Welsh National Opera and Opera Rara’s artistic director since 2019.

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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

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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

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GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE The word – on re-programming the word

Ted Hodgkinson is head of literature and spoken word at the Southbank Centre, where the London Literature Festival returns for the first time since 2019 on 21-31 October

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