Aberdeen arts groups warn of “devastating” consequences of proposed budget cuts Arts organisations including Peacock Visual Arts, the Look Again festival and Aberdeen Arts Centre have come together to protect their funding in the face of proposed Aberdeen City Council budget cuts. They believe the proposals could be devastating for the city’s arts scene.

Co-leader of the ruling Labour-Conservative-Independent administration Douglas Lumsden has said that “heartbreaking” decisions need to be made as the council attempts to find more than £40million of savings.

Speaking to Aberdeen’s Press and Journal newspaper, the arts organisations said: “The proposed cuts are potentially devastating to Aberdeen’s grassroots arts organisations, which will undoubtedly have a long-term negative impact on the city and its citizens. Some organisations are facing a complete, 100%, loss of council funding, while others are looking at a 50% reduction in finance.”

“We are urging councillors to think again and are requesting a meeting with the co-leaders to look at alternatives to these plans and how we can work together on a
possible solution.”

Nuno Sacramento, the director at Peacock Visual Arts, said the proposals will “undermine and decimate cultural activity in Aberdeen for years to come”.

Aberdeen City Council said: “We are aware of the consternation in the cultural sector caused by the budget options that are now in the public domain. The huge funding gap means we are forced to consider all options which will either reduce our expenditure or increase our income levels.”

All of Leicester’s museum curators are being made redundant The Leicester Mercury reports that the city’s arts and museums service will have no curators after proposals aimed at cutting £320,000 from the department’s budget were approved.

Four posts will be scrapped as part of a complete reshuffle of the department. Curators were given notices of redundancy at the beginning of this month.

Leicester City Council confirmed earlier this year that the head of arts and museums, Joanna Jones, was carrying out an internal review of the structure of the division.

Sally Howatt, chair of the Friends of Leicester and Leicestershire Museums, said: “We note with great concern and dismay that the four curators have received redundancy notices.

“It is essential that the core museum service is maintained to its current high standard, and we note that the service will lose many years of significant knowledge and expertise with these current redundancies.”

Activists demand MoMA divest from private prisons and weapons manufacturers “There is blood on this art,” shouted protesters in MoMA’s lobby as wealthy patrons shuffled into the museum for its annual David Rockefeller Awards Luncheon, reports Hyperallergic.

A group of about 10 demonstrators handed out leaflets and shouted: “MoMA divest from private prisons! MoMA divest from war!” The protesters were demonstrating against MoMA’s honouring of Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan, whose company is a major funder of private prisons in the US.

According to the museum’s website, his award was for “an individual from the business community who exemplifies enlightened generosity and effective advocacy of cultural and civic endeavors”. The protesters also targeted Laurence Fink, a MoMA board member who heads BlackRock, the world’s largest global investment management firm.

Tickets for the event ranged in price from $100,000 to $2,500 each.

Oxford museum rethinks famed display of shrunken heads The Art Newspaper reports that the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is reconsidering its display of shrunken heads, which are currently shown in a case labelled ‘Treatment of Dead Enemies’.

These human heads feature skin and hair and are known as ‘tsantsas’. They were made by the Shuar and Achuar people of Ecuador and Peru up until the 1960s. The tsantsas are amongst the museum’s most well-known and popular objects.

Pitt Rivers Museum director Laura Van Broekhoven said she is consulting with representatives of the Shuar community and that repatriation of the objects to Ecuador was a possibility: “If we conclude it is inappropriate to show the tsantsas, they might be taken off display. So far, we have no indication that this is the case. But all options are on the table.”

The W OR M, Aberdeen. Courtesy: Peacock Visual Arts

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