Voices

These letters were published in the 26th December edition of the Independent

West End still a smash, but London's marginal theatres face a struggle

New report paints a depressing picture  for the smaller venues  throughout the capital

Campaigners have warned of a library “slaughter” in England

Campaigners warn of libraries in crisis across England

They claim over 1,000 face closure by 2016

Manchester Art Gallery has a collection of almost 13,000 pieces. Manchester is among the regional councils that are planning to cut cultural funding

Regional arts left with London’s crumbs as spending cuts bite, warns Harriet Harman

Culture Secretary warned that funding disparity will drive theatres and museums to the wall

Catherine with 9-year-old Tyler

Meet the positive pop star role-model dreamt up by a nine-year-old

Catherine Bennett is a bright, slightly clumsy, bike-riding, museum worker

John Ruskin portrait by Millais

Ashmolean Museum acquires Millais portrait of John Ruskin which led to the end of his marriage to Effie Gray

A painting of John Ruskin which led to the end of the art critic's marriage has been acquired by the Ashmolean Museum.

The News Matrix: Tuesday 7 May 2013

MI5 asks for secret hearing over ex-mole

So, do the arts really offer value for money?

So should the Government subsidise the arts – and on what basis, artistic merit or economic contribution? As so often, the simpler the question the harder it is to give an answer, and this one is about as political as they come. But there some economic pointers.

Artist Anthony McCall's plans for a sculpture called Column have been scrapped

Artist Anthony McCall's Olympic 'Column' for Merseyside scrapped wasting £500,000 Arts Council England cash

One of the UK’s most ambitious arts projects which was meant to form a centrepiece of the nation’s Olympic year celebrations was scrapped after organisers admitted it would never come in on budget or on time.

Michael Frayn is among the luminaries of stage and screen to call on culture minister Ed Vaizey to rethink arts funing cuts

Theatre luminaries warn arts funding cuts could hinder future generation of playwrights

'New plays are vital to the future health of British theatre' they say

Magical mystery tour: The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize finds landscapes of wonder

First-rate fiction in top-quality translation can do more than transport the reader into a different or a distant world. Just as valuably, it may open our eyes to scenes we thought we knew, casting them – and us – in an entirely fresh perspective.

Sketches by artist Julia Miranda which feature in Living Words staff workshop books, made bespoke for each residency

Words of dementia sufferers woven into poetry by Susanna Howard

A poet is working with dementia patients to weave their words into poetry. Susanna Howard, sits with them, often in silence, jotting down whatever words they utter, and then uses only these utterances to put a poem together for her collections, Living Words.

Why are educationists so afraid of cultural excellence?

We should lead children to appreciate the finest in literature, music and all the arts

Philip Vaughan has accused the Hayward gallery’s executives of going back on plans to restore his Neon Tower work, right

Incandescent: artist Philip Vaughan’s fury after Hayward Gallery switches off his Neon Tower light sculpture

Gallery criticised over decision not to restore Neon Tower to London skyline

Invisible Ink: No 164 - Andrew Sinclair

There is such a thing as too clever.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there