Arts Council England blog

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A modern renaissance education


Our Deputy Chief Executive, Althea Efunshile, responds to the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan’s speech to the Launch of your Life campaign (10 November 2014).

In the past, a well-rounded individual was someone knowledgeable about multiple areas of study, a person who was well versed in the arts, the humanities and the sciences. 

Althea Efunshile on 14 Nov 2014

A blog from Alan Davey: The Devolution Opportunity

It is a generally accepted view among business leaders that cities and regions are drivers of economic growth more than nations and governments.

As Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General has observed: ‘The US doesn’t just have New York – San Francisco, LA, Boston and others are also premier league cities. In Germany, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich thrive alongside Berlin. We need the same in the UK.’

Alan Davey on 9 Oct 2014

Reasons not to work in a museum

The dinner table conversation at my house last week revolved around the difficult environment facing museums at the moment. My family were asking me the question:

‘Why would anyone choose to work in a museum?’

John Orna-Ornstein on 6 Oct 2014

A handful of Mars, rediscovered whales and the very last carrier pigeon

I go to museums a lot; it’s part of Arts Council keeping fully in touch with what’s happening around the country. But Friday was unusual even for me. I visited all eight Cambridge University museums and galleries in a single day: an exhausting, inspiring whistle stop tour.

John Orna-Ornstein on 8 Sep 2014

Understanding the value of arts and culture

When I arrived at the Arts Council a little over two years ago, I discovered (with some alarm!) that I was going to be the Executive Board member with responsibility for Goal 1, for ensuring that ‘excellence is thriving and celebrated in arts, museums and libraries’. Who was going to determine what was ‘excellent’ – our arts and cultural leaders? The professional critics? …Me? Would it ever be possible to agree within the Arts Council – let alone amongst arts and cultural organisations – what are the key determinants of ‘quality’? 

Simon Mellor on 21 Jul 2014

There’s a great story to be told

It’s now been a week or so since we announced our decisions on National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums. We’ve had many reactions, as you’d imagine.

When you are making these kinds of announcements a press conference or in a blog, you have to think very quickly.

Reflecting on the process, and talking to people who’ve been on the receiving end of these decisions, I find myself wanting to share one or two thoughts I was unable to dwell on at the time. 

Alan Davey on 11 Jul 2014

Looking back with pride - and forward with hope

Today Arts Council England announces its National portfolio of arts organisations and its Major partner museums for 2015-18.

I believe the decisions we’ve made reward ambition. We have looked to the future, investing in work for children and young people, and seeking to develop talent, wherever it emerges. We’ve sought to reach into more communities, while continuing to invest in arts organisations that have done great things in the last three years; we want them to build on their past work, and go further.

Alan Davey on 30 Jun 2014

Balancing act!

The Arts Council’s investment process is well underway; in July we are going to announce how we plan to invest for the next three years in a National portfolio of organisations - one of our three connected investment strands alongside Grants for the arts and our strategic funds

Alan Davey on 21 May 2014

Going Aloft

I’m not good with heights, never have been, never will be. So climbing a hundred foot up the main mast of ss Great Britain in Bristol to mark the launch of a new heritage experience – Go Aloft! – was always going to be a challenge.

John Orna-Ornstein on 8 Apr 2014

The time is now

I'm writing this blog on my way to Durham, a great city with a council going out of its way to embrace and enhance its cultural offer. I'm looking forward to a conversation about what we can do together, both in the short term and the long  - building capacity and engagement. 

Alan Davey on 21 Mar 2014 2 comments

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