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.

St John’s Smith Square may close in funding crisis

One of Europe’s great concert venues will close next year if a funding appeal launched today https://www.sjss.org.uk/savesjss does not succeed.

 “I will not hesitate to close the place down if I don’t think in middle of next year that we have been able to develop a funding model which is sustainable”  the chairman of St Johns Smith Square (SJSS), Dr Martin Smith, has told AI.

Next year will see the 50th anniversary of the concert venue in the heart of Westminster – a favourite of MPs and peers - being opened in the restored church with the latest design technology. But it is now subject to leaks in wet weather, has sub-standard dressing rooms and an inadequate kitchen provision, Smith said.

The Grade I Listed church, which has never had revenue subsidy, costs £1-£1.25m a year to keep open, and its income for the last five years has been £800,000. “Each year we’ve made the short-fall up by ringing round the same generous philanthropists” he said. “But last year we couldn’t. We fell short aby about £100,000 and had to dig into the reserves, which are now seriously depleted. We cannot go on like this, we can’t keep asking the same people over and over again”. SJSS’s patron is the Duchess of Cornwall who has hosted successful fund-raising events, “but we can’t keep asking her to do that” Smith said.

 

The appeal is seeking an urgent £250,000 to cover the costs of the next 12 months, but a total of £5m to change the funding base of the concert hall. Last year was one of SJSS’s best years ever for box office, and other income coming from letting as well as from its popular restaurant.

The money is needed to for the maintenance and upkeep of the historic building, and to continue to provide a full, varied and dynamic programme of arts and cultural activities within St John’s, the appeal says. “What we need” Smith said” is a person or combination of individuals who year in year out will write cheques for £200-250. It's a big ask”.

Opened in 1728 after a 14-year building programme the church of St John the Evangelist was the masterpiece of Thomas Archer, part of the famous Commission for Building Fifty New Churches of 1710 and the most elaborate, It served as a parish church for more than two centuries, surviving a major fire in 1842 and being struck by lightning in 1815. Benjamin Britten’s parents were married there and Emmeline Pankhurst’s funeral in 1928 was there.

But it in 1941 it was gutted by an incendiary bomb and it became derelict. Talk of turning it into a carp park galvanised a campaign to save it, and it was restored and reopened as a concert hall in 1969. The only change since then has been the addition of a lift for the disabled 20 years ago.

"Just to come across it in that quiet square is an event” said the architect Sir Hugh Casson. “To enter it, to enjoy its spaces, to listen to fine music within its walls is an experience not to be matched in conventional concert halls and is a lasting tribute to the man who designed it."

 

 

Print Email

AINews