Channel 4 ramps up arts programming

The British pubcaster is launching an arts strand as well as an arts season for the summer - two initiatives that should connect Channel 4 Arts with a "broad modern audience," according to commissioning editor Tabitha Jackson (pictured).
May 10, 2011

British pubcaster Channel 4 is aggressively pursuing the arts in the months ahead, with a summer arts season and a new arts strand for the fall just announced.

‘Street Summer’ will air across 10 days in August, celebrating street art, street dance, rap/spoken word, hip hop and street sport. The C4 programming will be complemented by programming on T4, More 4 and Film 4. Beyond TV, C4 says there will be a “strong online presence” with “an ambitious multi-platform performance commission.”

The season’s line-up includes Street Dance Wars (w/t), a three-part doc series from Fresh One; Concrete Circus (w/t), a 1 x 90-minute doc from Renegade Pictures in association with Christie HQ dealing with urban sports; a 1 x 60-minute doc examining street art and graffiti from Twofour which will complement C4′s airing of KEO Films’ Banksy doc Exit Through the Gift Shop during the season; How Hip Hop Changed the World, a 1 x 120-minute doc from Fresh One; a 60-minute doc focusing on spoken word and rap from Lemonade Money and ACME; and One Man Walking, a short dance film.

Channel 4 Arts will also be launching ‘Random Acts’ in the fall, a new strand intended to provide a “disruptive space” on the airwaves¬†and online for artists to create short-form pieces. The films will be interspersed in the C4 schedule and will encompass spoken word, dance, animation, video art and music. They’ll also be found online via a new online arts hub at C4′s website.

“Above all I want Channel 4 Arts to connect to a broad modern audience,” said C4 arts commissioner Tabitha Jackson (pictured). “We will both celebrate our vibrant contemporary culture of arts and creativity, and we will also interrogate how that culture is expressing just what it is to be alive in 21st century Britain. In other words – us now, through art now.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.