BBC and Arts Council merge for digital culture venture ‘The Space’ | Arts

A new online venture between the BBC and the Arts Council called The Space will offer unlimited access to arts programming online, on digital TV and via mobile.

The joint online space will offer 53 specially-commissioned projects by the Arts Council (who will fund the project until October), archive material from the BBC, the British Film Institute and the Arts Council, all also available to view on channel 117 on Freeview HD TV.

Mark Thompson, Director General at the BBC, spoke of the collaboration between the organisation and the Arts Council being in the works for years, commenting: “It’s a very beautiful thing. It’s like two whales mating, a natural history moment.

“One of many other partnerships with the world of arts, this new set of clothes for the BBC feels like it really suits us,” he continued.

He added: “For the BBC there has been some quite profound soul searching. Some of the splendid traditional aspects of the BBC – obsession with authorship and editorial and brand control – we have had to put aside and come out of our ivory tower and think of ourselves much more as enablers on which other people do their best work.”

The brains behind the project is the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, which was set up in honour of the late BBC broadcaster who passed away in 2004 and aims to recreate the late DJ’s home studio and library. Peel’s catalogue consisted of about 25,000 vinyl albums, 100 of which will be added in alphabetical order each week. Visitors will not be able to listen to the albums in their entirety but there will be links to websites where they can. By late Summer there should be 2,600 album names put online.

Speaking of honouring the legacy that Peel left, Andrew Stringer, a director of the John Peel Centre, commented: “This is just the first step and a fantastic portal to give the career of John Peel the justice it deserves.

“Whether people listened to his shows or not, their social history has been influenced by him because nothing was deemed ‘out of the box’ and it encouraged people to expand their horizons,” he continued.
 
[Source: BBC/Guardian]
 
Visit TheSpace.org for more information.