Streetwise in Seville

There was a spontaneous peal of applause in the Teatro Central at the end of this film yesterday, where I showed it during a talk about community arts at a performing arts and social inclusion conference in Seville. The Answer to Everything is Streetwise Opera’s latest work, which I saw recently in Manchester. Combining live performance … Continue reading Streetwise in Seville

Artists did this

At Seville Cathedral today,  my breath was taken away by the power of a building designed, made and decorated by artists. I walked around just gaping at the unfathomable display of craft, inventiveness and beauty. In the past, when church and king held sway, it must have been been almost impossible to enter this building … Continue reading Artists did this

It’s the end of the world as we know it

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the arts (and culture) being in crisis. There will be much more, next week, when delegates gather for a big double conference in York and Bristol, generously funded by the British Council, Arts Council England and others. I imagine hand-wringing, soul searching, frustration and anger, … Continue reading It’s the end of the world as we know it

Whose will? Whose Triumph?

State funding of culture is a very tricky thing to do in a democracy. Patrons, sponsors, customers  just buy what they want. But in the post-war European welfare state, managers in state departments or arm’s length bodies were tasked – for the first time – with buying art on behalf of other people. A binary transaction … Continue reading Whose will? Whose Triumph?

Beyond control

 I want the heart, I want the soul, I want control right now Badlands (1978) Bruce Springsteen 'Shackled and Drawn' During the 1970s, when the NME was teaching me how to listen to music (and more besides) and punk challenged the Seventies rock nobility, their annual awards became funnier and less respectful. One was titled 'Thanks … Continue reading Beyond control