Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sky Arts to be free to everyone from September 2020

As from September Sky Arts is to become and "Art for Everyone" channel. It will become the only space on terrestrial TV dedicated solely to arts and culture.

Apparently the channel’s audiences increased by 50 per cent during lockdown!

In the meantime it looks like more paint along sessions - see below

In a nutshell, the notion is that
  • Sky Arts will embark on an ambitious programme of activity to support and champion the arts - so far as visual arts are concerned this includes 
    • Landmark, a series in 2021 in which artists and local communities across the UK will join forces to create the next great British landmark.
    • Portrait Artist of the Week, the live-streamed paint-along version of the channel’s flagship series ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’, has been confirmed to return this Autumn both on @SkyTV Facebook and Sky Arts, following its huge success during lockdown. 
    • Complementing this, Portrait Artist of the Year will return at the same time, with new celebrity sitters including Normal People’s Paul Mescal, First Dates front-of-house Fred Sirieux, singer Ray BLK and Sir Trevor McDonald.
    • Goldie: The Art That Made Me
    • Sky Arts Late, a new monthly arts and culture show.
    • Inside Art, presented by Kate Bryan, will explore leading exhibitions across the UK.
    • (I'm still waiting to hear what happened to Landscape Artist of the Year - I suspect it might have been abandoned)
  • Sky Arts will put artists, creatives, and public participation centre stage 
Freeview reaches 18 million living rooms. How can TV be your canvas in unprecedented times? What can we create together to keep you connected to an audience that can’t reach you in person? How can we ensure that the next generation of creators – be they dancers, singers, painters, designers, or poets – can continue to be inspired by what you do? Philip Edgar-Jones CEO of Sky Arts
  • It will launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 each, enabling arts leaders to support and mentor emerging new artists.
  • everyone across the UK can watch the Sky Arts channel on Freeview.
As a creative business, we believe it’s important to have a thriving cultural sector. By making Sky Arts free for everyone we want to give more artists and arts organisations a platform to create and share their work and to bring more art and culture to everyone across the UK.Stephen van Rooyen
EVP and Chief Executive Officer, Sky UK and Europe
There's a bit of me that thinks - OK so that probably means not having to pay anybody willing to contribute their time for free.

There again it's great to get a new free channel - especially since the BBC's arts content started to slide with the cuts.

This article provides an interesting commentary - With the BBC at bay, Sky embraces the possibilities of the arts on TV | The Guardian Mark Lawson

So pros and cons maybe - let's see what it's like.....

I'll be continuing with my Now TV subscription to the Sky Arts Entertainment Pass - in part because that sounds as if it's going to be the only way to access the "on demand" and archive context on Sky Arts.

So maybe the new free channel is a sprat to catch a mackerel?

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Fish
14" x 18", coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

PS You can see who watches Sky Arts here - fascinating numbers!

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