July 2011
29 July 2011
Creative Scotland's three-year Cultural Plan

Creative Scotland has launched a new Cultural Plan for the three years up until 2014, when Glasgow is due to host the Commonwealth Games. It declares that:

The three year period presents us with a unique unprecedented position to celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage and will allow collaboration between sectors and a chance for communities across Scotland to take part in cultural activity.

27 July 2011
How the arts can help vulnerable people

The consultants Lemos & Crane, in conjunction with the City Bridge Trust, have produced a report which looks at the ways in which vulnerable and disadvantaged people can benefit from the arts. The Arts Case: Why the Arts Make a Difference uses case studies drawn from the work of a number of London arts organisations to explore the positive effects of art.

26 July 2011
How do you put a value on culture?

There have recently been some interesting online articles exploring the wisdom or otherwise of using economic criteria to measure culture's impact. The exchanges began with Tiffany Jenkins, the cultural commentator, arguing that attempts to measure economic and social impact have failed, and that instead the discussion should focus on whether the artistic activity under consideration is good or not.

25 July 2011
Linking the arts and the creative economy

Arts Council England has just published Supporting Growth in the Arts Economy, a lengthy report it commissoned from the consultants Tom Fleming and Andrew Erskine. The report consists of three papers – 'The arts economy', 'Place, infrastructure and digital' and 'Towards an arts and creative economy' – which explore aspects of the relationship between the arts, the work of the Arts Council, and the creative economy.

22 July 2011
Evaluation of the Ruhr's year as European Capital of Culture

An evaluation has been published of the Ruhr's year (2010) as European Capital of Culture (ECoC). The authors of A Metropolis in the Making? decline to say whether the year was worthwhile or not overall, noting that the second half was overshadowed by the deaths of 21 people at the Loveparade event in Duisburg in July (although RUHR.2010 was not involved in organising the event, it was listed in the ECoC programme).

21 July 2011
Tough times for British museums

The Museums Association has published the findings of a survey of 140 museums across the country. The Impact Of Cuts On UK Museums makes for fairly grim reading, if perhaps not quite warranting the 'devastating cuts' headline the MA has chosen to give the news briefing.

20 July 2011
Facts and figures on orchestra performances

The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) has produced a short but useful summary of its survey of 48 UK orchestras for 2009/10.

Among other things, it finds that the orchestras gave more than 3,700 performances  to a total of 4.18m people in Britain, and made 160 CD recordings. Their total income for the year was almost £150m.

19 July 2011
Trailer for 'Hackgate: the Movie'

Following the endless twists and turns of the phone hacking scandal is beyond the scope of this blog, but this movie trailer parody provides some light relief:

18 July 2011
The role of small visual arts organisations in the arts sector

The consultant Sarah Thelwall has written a report for the Common Practice group looking at the role of small visual arts organisations (those with a turnover of less than £1m) in the wider arts ecology. Size Matters argues that such organisations act as unofficial sources of support for bigger organisations by risk-taking and developing new work.

15 July 2011
Integrating museums and libraries into Arts Council England's framework

Earlier this year Arts Council England asked Estelle Morris (a former culture minister) to review the Arts Council's strategic framework in the light of the decision by the government to extend its responsibilities to cover museums and libraries. Her report can be found here.

14 July 2011
New Skillset profiles of publishing and photography

Skillset, the sector skills council for creative media, has produced two more updates of its labour market intelligence profiles. The first, for publishing, shows the sub-sector employs 195,000 people in the UK. Newspaper publishing accounts for 51,800 of these jobs, journals and periodicals for 50,500 and books for 32,850. 36 per cent of jobs were in London, with another 24 per cent in the South East and East of England.

13 July 2011
The benefits of good architectural design

RIBA has produced a short report, Good Design – it all adds up, arguing that cost-cutting in building design is short-sighted, as good design has many benefits for people and neighbourhoods. The report includes 15 brief case studies to illustrate the point.

11 July 2011
Visualising Taking Part survey data

John Davies of English Heritage has produced a number of interesting visualisations of 2007/08 Taking Part data here.

08 July 2011
Creative Industries Council launched

Wednesday 6 July was the scheduled day for the first meeting of the Government's Creative Industries Council, although Jeremy Hunt may well have had other things on his mind.

07 July 2011
Volunteering's positive effects on mental health

BOP consultant Cristina Rosemberg will be speaking at the New Directions in Welfare conference at the OECD in Paris tomorrow – details here. She will be discussing her research into the links between mental health and volunteering.

06 July 2011
Northern Ireland artists earn £7,500 in a year from their art

A joint report has been published by the Arts Councils of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic looking at the working lives of artists. Commissioned from Hibernian Consulting, The living and working conditions of artists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is a long, data-rich study of a sample of  visual artists, performing artists and writers.

05 July 2011
Promoting Bristol's creative industries

Recent BOP research found that Bristol has the highest share of creative industries jobs (as a proportion of all jobs) of any of the English ‘core cities’. A short promotional video from TEDx Bristol, called Made in Bristol, showcases some of the many film, TV and digital media companies in the city. (One of the companies mentioned, Wildscreen, is a BOP client.) The video can be accessed from this page.



04 July 2011
Nick Ewbank on culture and regeneration in Folkestone

One of the most interesting attempts in the last decade to use culture to regenerate a struggling town has taken place in Folkestone in Kent. The businessman Roger de Haan set up the Creative Foundation, which has invested more than £50m of his money in various arts schemes and building projects in the town. (One of those projects, the Folkestone Triennial 2011, has just opened.) Nick Ewbank has been director of the Foundation since 2001, but recently decided to step down. He has written a report, Adventures in Regeneration, reflecting on his time and on the Creative Foundations' achievements – it can be read here.

01 July 2011
NESTA reflects on NT Live experiment

NT Live is the National Theatre's programme of digital cinema broadcasts. It was launched in 2009, and was the first time live broadcasting of theatre performances had been attempted on a large scale in Britain.

NESTA and Arts Council England helped fund the R&D which underpinned the project, amd NESTA has now produced a report in which participants reflect on the wider lessons of the exercise.