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Arts Council England grants £12.2 million to museums

Plus: Studies paint disappointing picture for diversity at US museums | Turkey’s Biennial postponed | Rich Aste appointed director of McNay Art Museum | and funding cuts for public art at Rio Olympics

3 August 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Arts Council England awards £12.2 million to 94 museums | Arts Council England has announced that it is to award £12.2 million to UK museums as part of the second round of its Museum Resilience funding. The fund, which in this instance goes towards 94 museums, is intended to plug gaps or development opportunities for museums of all sizes. Recipients this time around include the Port Sunlight Museum, Southampton City Art Gallery and the National Holocaust Centre’s Forever Project. ‘The focus of our investment approach for museums in 2015–18 is on building a more resilient sector,’ said John Orna-Ornstein, director of museums for ACE. ‘The Museum Resilience fund is a key part of that, providing vital support to museums right across the country.’

Studies paint disappointing picture for diversity at US museums | Two recent studies conducted by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Association of Art Museum Directors have presented a stark picture of ethnic and racial diversity at the top level of the US museum world, reports The Art Newspaper. The AAMD’s report, which takes in 181 museums in partnership with the Mellon Foundation, suggests that only 4 per cent of curators, academics, conservators and administrators are African American, 6 per cent Asian and 3 per cent Hispanic. ‘At the top level of leadership the numbers of people of colour are very low, and you don’t see them leading what we might call mainstream institutions’, says Elizabeth Alexander of the Ford Foundation.

Turkey’s Biennial postponed | In the wake of the attempted military coup that rocked Turkey two weeks ago, the organisers of Sinopale, the country’s Biennial arts festival, have announced that the sixth edition of the event will be postponed until next year. A statement from the curators read: ‘We will continue to engage in the network of Sinopale – following how the situation develops, continuing our conversations, developing ideas further, and meeting in different constellations.’

Rich Aste appointed director of McNay Art Museum | The Brooklyn Museum’s Rich Aste has been appointed director of San Antonio’s McNay Museum. Currently managing curator for the arts of the Americas and Europe at the New York institution, McNay has presided over shows including ‘Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World’. ‘We are confident he will take the McNay to the next level,’ said board president Sarah Harte.

Funding cuts for public art at Rio Olympics | Following a period of pronounced financial uncertainty in Brazil, the arts programme for the imminent Rio Summer Olympics has received further budget cuts, reports O Globo. (Portuguese language article, via The Art Newspaper.) Italian artist Giancarlo Neri’s installation Bar Paris, featuring more than 1,400 chairs with lights attached, will no longer be on show in Rio’s Glória district as a result of the cost cutting.

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