The Telegraph published our collective letter led by EBACC Campaigners the Incorporated Society of Musicians, which urges the Department for Education to rethink their EBacc plan. We are now in a position where we must keep up the pressure and campaign activity up to the debate in Parliament on Monday 4 July.

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Countries of Culture Inquiry by DCMS

CVAN submitted a written submission to Department of Culture, Media and Sport last month to inform their inquiry Countries of Culture which is looking into ways to preserve and promote the UK’s cultural wealth, taking into consideration the investment into London and the regions and proposals for a shift in the balance of investment. Whilst confidential at this stage of the process we can confirm we will share that paper once the findings of the inquiry have been published.

Wolfgang Tillmans advocates Remain campaign in posters

Wolfgang Tillmans advocates Remain campaign in posters

Turner prize winning German artist, Wolfgang Tillmans has created a series of posters in support of Britain remaining in Europe. As well as advocating the remain campaign, this collection of posters also promotes voting registration, the deadline for which is June 7 2016.

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Bacc for the Future campaign update

 Bacc for the Future campaign update

There is a petition on the Parliament website in support of arts in the EBacc. If the petition gets to 100,000 signatures by Monday 9 May 2016 we will secure a debate in the House of Commons on the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and the threat this poses to creative subjects in secondary schools.

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A Portrait of the Artist as an Unpaid Man

'The public need to treat the exploitation of artistic labour as some kind of taboo while artists themselves must stand firm and refuse to work for nothing. No amount of government policy is going to change this ... Are you prepared to get real?' Text by James Doeser

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Creators, educators and industry urge Government rethink on EBacc

Bacc for the Future 2 has got off to a fantastic start: 33 organisations are now supporting the refreshed campaign and over 3,300 individuals have signed up to the petition.The Bacc for the Future campaign is back again following the Department for Education’s announcement of plans to introduce a compulsory list of subjects at GCSE level.

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CVAN Campaign Against EBacc

CVAN Campaign Against EBacc

This week in a speech to Policy Exchange, the Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb MP, announced that the Government would once again be trying to make the EBacc compulsory for secondary school pupils.Back in 2013 CVAN were part of a successful campaign (of 45,000+ individuals and 120+ organisations) to stop the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) from becoming compulsory in all secondary schools.

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The national network of Audience Development Agencies re-launches as Audiences UK.

Today the national network of Audience Development Agencies re-launches as Audiences UK.

 "Audiences UK will ensure that the public’s needs and views are heard in the coming years.  We will take a national and international lead in advocating for the needs of audiences and promoting the highest quality audience development practice in the cultural sector. Through our twelve national and regional Agencies, we will co-ordinate and deliver national programmes to increase levels of cultural engagement.

We believe policy-makers, funders and the cultural sector itself need to place a greater emphasis on growing and broadening audiences and making sure everyone has the opportunity to access and experience great art. In the challenging times ahead, this will not only help the financial stability of cultural organisations, it will also help to keep individuals happy and hold communities together. 

To coincide with the launch of Audiences UK, we have published a ‘manifesto’ setting out five key messages for funders, policy-makers and the cultural sector in England to sustain and increase levels of cultural engagement in economically challenging times. You can download a PDF by clicking here (it may take a moment to download).

Our new website – www.audiencesuk.org – is also now live, providing a home for a vast amount of data and resources that can be accessed (free of charge) by anyone interested in growing and developing their audience."

Why the arts matter...

The next few months are a crucial time for the arts. There’s a vital case to be made to secure the best deal for the arts, and we all have an important role to play.


In particular we feel that there is a critical role for the Turning Point Network to play in amplifying a strong united voice for the visual arts.

As we make our case for why the arts matter and the importance of public funding of the arts some key messages, facts and figures have been produced to support our conversations.

Why the arts matter facts include:


  • the arts budget is tiny – it costs 17p a week per person
  • the arts are popular – 76% of English adults engaged in the arts in the last 12 months
  • the creative industries are essential to our economy and accounted for £59.9m or 6.2% of UK Gross Value Added in 2007


It is hoped that organizations and individuals will add their own contributions to this evidence base. The facts will be updated as more information becomes available.

Please visit the Why the arts matter pages of the Arts Council England website today, and help us to make the strongest case possible for the arts.

If you haven't already, please take part in the Achieving great art for everyone consultation today and share your thoughts on the priorities for the arts.

Please also see the previous post about about a national advocacy campaign being led by Visual Arts London.

Advocacy and the Visual Arts

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH, The Daily Mirror 16th Feb 1976)After a Wednesday of observing life in the world of business I made a flippant comment on twitter about the difference in culture between public and private sectors: I said something along the lines of "it's quicker and easier to get things done over there".

After a Thursday afternoon observing discussions at a meeting of Visual Arts London (a recently formed group that connects London to the Turning Point Network, and vice versa) I was, however, reminded that the grass can not only be just as green over here, but the relative scale of possibility can be far greater. I was exposed to the reality of an assumption that underpins Turning Point Network's existence: by coming together, and sharing knowledge and resources we can achieve significant change that will help strengthen the visual arts. Not only that, we can make things happen much, much faster than many might suspect.

The meeting began with members of the group (listed below), who have agreed to focus on advocacy, education and resource sharing, reviewing a range of key messages about why the contemporary visual arts matter. Following a short discussion which reviewed a number of options for refining and disseminating those messages the group agreed on the bones of an advocacy campaign plan. Government ministers, Treasury officials, Industry leaders, and partners from the press and media were among the audiences for the campaign as well as being potential ambassadors for the visual arts, along with artists and cultural leaders.

A range of options were tabled for how the campaign might be framed and taken forwards, and these are being reviewed by the group:

Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery (Chair)

Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks

Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers' Gallery

Chris Wainwright, Dean of School of Art, Central Saint Martins

Cressida, Hubbard, Administrative Director, Artangel

David Buckland, Director, Cape Farewell

Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery

Eddie Berg, Director, British Film Institute

Ekow Eshun, Artistic Director, ICA

Emma Kay, Cubitt

Jane Sillis, Director, Engage

Jenni Lomax, Director, Camden Arts Centre

James Lingwood, Director, Artangel

Jonathan Harvey, Director, ACME Studios

Judith Nesbitt, Chief Curator, Tate

Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Serpentine Gallery

Justine Simons, Cultural Strategy Officer, Mayor's Office - Culture

Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions, Royal Academy

Kate Bush, Head of Art Galleries, Barbican

Margot Heller, Director, South London Gallery

Matthew Slotover, Frieze

Polly Staple, Director, Chisenhale Gallery

Roger Malbert, Senior Curator of National Touring, Hayward Gallery

Sarah Tinsley, Head of Exhibitions, National Portrait Gallery

Sarah O'reilly, General Manager, Hayward Gallery

Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator, Tate Modern

Tessa Jackson, Chief Executive, INIVA

The goup's coordinator is Katrina Schwarz, based at Hayward Gallery.

The campaign would be UK wide and Vivienne Bennett, Director Visual Arts Strategy, Arts Council England will be working with Chairs from across the network to ensure regional groups are informing and informed by the plan as is develops.

As my colleague Andrew Brown, Senior Officer Visual Arts Strategy, Arts Council England highlighted at the meeting, we have come along way in the last 30 years. It's certainly hard to imagine the national press running a front page headline like that of 16th February 1976. We should be confident about telling the story in an effort to sure up support for the sector in the long term.

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