Sky Arts is free from September

Sky Arts will be free for UK audiences from 1 September.

“As a creative business, we believe it’s important to have a thriving cultural sector,” said Sky UK and Europe CEO Stephen van Rooyen. “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.”

Viewers will have access to new programmes including Landmark, which will follow the commission of a new public sculpture; Portrait Artist of the Week, a live-streamed paint-along; and English National Opera’s Drive & Live, featuring its drive-in performance of La Bohème.

Sky Arts also announced a new series of GBP30,000 (€33,000) bursaries that “will see leading figures from the arts support and mentor diverse and emerging new artists.”

Commented Caroline Dinenage, minister of state for digital and culture: “The coronavirus pandemic has underlined just how important they are to our health and wellbeing. I am delighted that Sky Arts is opening up its vast array of programming to the nations’ living rooms, for us all to enjoy.”