Arts sector demands answers over funding of Wise Children Arts Council England has been forced to defend its decision to offer four-year funding to Emma Rice’s new theatre company, Wise Children, after an article criticising the move caused a Twitter storm. The article, posted on ArtsProfessional, called into question ACE’s decision to approve an application for national portfolio funding for the company, which was officially formed just nine days before funding bids had to be registered with ACE and for which Rice – who is to step down as artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe in April 2018 – is the sole director.

Mercury Prize-winning band suffer backlash over art galleries criticism The Edinburgh band Young Fathers has suffered a racist backlash after highlighting the dominance of portraits of privileged, white people in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The band, who won the Mercury Prize in 2014, made the remarks in a video commissioned by the NPG as part of the exhibition, ‘Looking Good: The Male Gaze from Van Dyck to Lucian Freud’.

Ai Weiwei’s refugee film Human Flow picked up by Amazon The media production arm of the online retailer plans to release the documentary theatrically this autumn and stream it online. The artist’s first feature film focuses on the global refugee crisis and premieres at the Venice International Film Festival at the end of this month.

Six ex-officials in South Korea sentenced for blacklisting artists Top aides to South Korea’s ousted president, Park Geun-hye, were sentenced to prison on Thursday for blacklisting thousands of cultural figures deemed unfriendly to Geun-hye and excluding them from government-controlled support programs.

Jerwood Drawing Prize artists announced Presented in collaboration with Bath Spa University, the annual open exhibition this year features 69 works by 65 artists. Selected from 2811 submissions from across the UK, the 2017 edition marks the end of a 17-year relationship with Jerwood Charitable Foundation which following this year’s Jerwood Space show and 2017-18 tour will no longer be the exhibition’s key partner and funder.

Northern Ireland considers abolishing Arts Council The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has defended its independence, claiming that policy-making expertise and access to external funding would be at risk if it were to lose its arms-length status. Northern Ireland is considering abolishing the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as part of a review into the effectiveness of its arms-length bodies.

Israeli authorities arrest antiquities dealers allegedly involved in Hobby Lobby scandal Five Palestinian antiquities dealers apprehended in Jerusalem who are allegedly connected to the sale of smuggled artifacts to Hobby Lobby, a privately owned arts and crafts chain based in the US.

Arrested Turkish cartoonist releases statement rebutting charges Musa Kart, a Turkish cartoonist, worked for the country’s oldest newspaper, Cumhuriyet (Republic). The publication has been critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was nearly ousted by a coup d’etat last year. Kart was arrested in November 2016, along with a number of the paper’s journalists, for their alleged involvement in the upheaval.

Thieves damage Koki Tanaka work at Sculpture Projects Münster Police are investigating a burglary in the latest incident of crime at the festival. Thieves broke into the university building in Münster to steal technical equipment that was part of a work by the Japanese artist Koki Tanaka. It is at least the third time that this edition of Sculpture Projects Münster has fallen victim to crime.

Artist and craftsman Simon Richardson dies Richardson co-ran the Clove gallery from 1991 for two years, in an empty retail space in Butler’s Wharf on the south bank of the River Thames, exhibiting the work of many recent graduates including Gillian Wearing and Gavin Turk.

Barbara Walker, Exotic Detail In The Margin#2. Selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017 Photo: Colin Mills

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