About Us

The State of the Arts

The State of the Arts is a website covering arts, culture, and politics from cities across England, and occasionally further afield.

We want to provide a space for talking about quality events, ideas and people, and to shine a light on local arts scenes that might otherwise go overlooked in a London-centric media landscape.

We aim to publish arts criticism that is thoughtful and creative in its own right, often focusing on art that pushes boundaries and intersects heavily with the social and political.

TSOTA began as an attempt to create a single platform for information on cultural activity in Leeds in 2014. The site was inundated with requests to write about Yorkshire, then the north – and articles were shared around the world. In 2015 the decision was made to cover national cultural writing.

Our growing online platform is a place where writers can express themselves and be heard. We’re always looking for contributors to bring something new to the website. If you have an idea for a piece or there’s something you think we should cover, get in touch.


The Team:

  • Jack Simpson
    Managing Director

    Jack Simpson

    Jack founded TSOTA in 2014 to cover the best of Leeds's cultural goings on. He co-owns Eiger Studios and the Hyde Park Book Club.
  • Ella Milburn

    Ella Milburn

    Ella is studying an MA in Journalism at Goldsmiths and writes for openDemocracy on gender and sexuality. She makes collages and takes photos for fun.

Our writers:

Abraham Elton, Adam Bruce, Adam Button, Ahmer Bashir, Aidan Johnson, Alan Berry, Aleks Podraza, Alex Burgoyne, Alex Daniel, Alex Duffy, Alex Gradwell-Spencer, Alex Mannings, Alexandra Richards, Alexia Kossifos, Ali Pearson, Alice Chandler, Alice Coombs, Alice Olsson, Alice Wood, Aliya Ismangil, Amanda Carnac, Amanda Lynsdale, Amanda Wignall, Amber Rose, Amelia Crouch, Amelia King, Amy Griffiths, Amy Hills-Fletcher, Anastasia Grabova, Anastasia Kennedy, Andrew Kemp, Andy Moore, Angus Fisher, Anthony Mullally, Anya Stewart-Maggs, Aoife Robinson, Ashleigh Anne Said, Ashleigh Ferdinand, Ava Sims, Barry Fox, Bea Gilbert, Benjamin Paul, Bethany Ashcroft, Bethany Jones, Bethany Linnet, Billie Walker, Bobbie Hook, Bridget Taylor, Brighton Upton-Trust, Bryony Jameson, Byron Wigglesworth, Carlota Ortiz Monasterio, Caroline Hurley, Caroline Ryan, Casper Hughes, Catherine Elliott, Catrin Podgorski, Catriona Chadderton, Celia Lloyd-Jones, Charles McLeod, Charlie Spargo, Charlotte Gray, Charlotte Ward, Chloe Patrickson, Chloe Peck, Chris Canavan, Chris Doyler, Chris Howard, Chris Morley, Christy Cooney, Ciaran Chillingworth, Ciarán Hodgers, Clare Fisher, Claudia Chapman, Colton Spencer, Connor Christie, Dan Newton, Daniel Palmer, Daniel Stead, Danny Davis, Darius Williams and Luke Rideout, Dave Olson, David Booth, David Campbell Olson, David Gann, David Smith, David Ward, Debbie Coope, Dee Jas, Devon Forrester-Jones, Dionne Fitzgerald, Dylan Howell, Dylan Marsh, Ed Montana-Williams, El Royale, Elaine Peake, Eleanor Roche, Electra Constance Carr, Elena Fowler, Elinor Cole, Elinor Makin, Elise Gallagher, Elizabeth Gregory, Elizabeth Kennedy, Elizabeth Roberts, Ella Healing, Ella Milburn, Ellen Bassam, Ellen Fouweather, Ellen Ormesher, Ellie Clarke, Ellie Nicholls, Elliot Ryder, Ellis Howell Williams, Emil Margrain, Emily Booth, Emily Jefferies, Emily Johnson, Emily Murray, Emma Chaplin, Emma Schicker, Emmie Waugh, Eno Inwang, Eva Fortini, Felix Sanders, Fiona Gell, Francesca Baker, Francesca Mainman, Francine Morgan, Fraser Smith, Gabriella Warren-Smith, Gareth Murphy, Gavin Hudson, Gemma Thorpe, George Cooper, George Paris, Georgia Wood, Georgina Lewin, Gill Crawshaw, Gillian Sammer, Grace Collier, Greg Elliott, Hannah Emadian, Hannah Gaunt, Hannah Spruce, Hannah Williams, Harriet Trayling, Harry Johns, Hayley Reid, Heather Ditch, Heather Hoy, Helen Cocks, Helena Gumley-Mason, Helena McCormick, Helena Roddis, Helena Wallace, Henry Burkinshaw, Holly Ridge, Holly Wyatt, Hope Churm, Ilona Walker, Isabel Drake, Isidora Cortes-Monroy, Jack Cooper, Jack Dean, Jack Simpson, Jack Simpson, James Cullen, James Grimshaw, James Hopkins, Jane Austwick, Janet Murray, Janie Readman, Janis Sims, Jasmin Vincent, Jason Alston, Jasper Llewellyn, Jenna Campbell, Jenny Pudney, Jenny Wilson, Jeremy Arblaster, Jeremy Corbyn, Jess Ramsey, Jessica Blackwell, Jessica Howell, Jessica Timperley, Jilly Forster, Jo Boon, Jo Hudson, Joe Saxon, Joe Taylor, John Maguire, John Wright, Joleen White, Jonathan Howie, Jonathon Dean, Jordon Jefferies, Joseph Roche, Kate Devine, Kate Ireland, Kate Jones, Kate Parkin, Kate Robinson, Kate Wellham, Katherine Morris, Keira Hunt, Kevin Thompson, Kim Bo Kyung, Kizzy Bray, Lara Eggleton, Laura Demaude, Laura Harris, Lauranne Roux and Peyton Kelvin, Lauren Carne, Laurie Garrison, Lewis King, Lily Pinto, Lisa-Marie Dickinson, Liv Clarke, Liz Searle, Lois Soleil, Lorna King, Louise Heys, Lucía Vázquez, Lucy Cheseldine, Macintyre Law, Madeleine Walton, Maja Lorkowska, Malak El-Gonemy, Margarette Cartwright, Maria Shury-Smith, Mark Mehta, Mary Oliver, Mary Pattisson, Matilda Verrells, Matt Abbott, Matt Davies, Matt Symes, Matt Thurgood, Mattie Roberts, Max Arguile, Megan Roe, Melanie Pearson, Michael Boucher, Michael Costen and Jack Shillito, Michael Sutton, Mike Farren, Mike Price, Milo Cridge, Monica Carvalho, Myra Litton, Nabihah Parkar, Nadia Whiston, Nancy Barnes, Nancy Dewe Mathews, Naomi Taylor, Naomi Wilby, Natalie D Kershaw, Natalie Saunders, Natasha Lyons, Nathan Reaney, Nathan Scatcherd, Nazish Khan, Neelam Mustafa, Nick David, Nicki Davy, Nicola Cappleman, Nik McNally, Oli Hemingway, Olivia Hickey, Olivia June Bambrough, Olivia Neilson, Olivia O'Neil, Olly Thomas, Oriana Ramanath, Owain Arthur, Owen Clements, Owen Walsh, Paddy Garrigan, Patrick Garrigan, Patrick Young, Paul Barrow, Pete Gray, Peter Aldred, Peter Kane, Philippa Hirst, Philippa Watts, Phillip Chapman and Charlie Otieno, Phoebe Alexander, Phoebe Bousfield, Phoebe Taylor, Polly Foster, Polly Stephens, Rachel McIntyre, Raisa Butt, Rebecca Alper, Rebecca Bairstow, Rebecca Walker, Rebekah Carey, Rich Jevons, Rich Jevons and Debbie Coupe, Rich Ripley, Richard Higgs, Richard Smyth, Rob Wright, Robin Styles, Rory Knox, Rosie Solomon, Rosie Steel, Rowan Cassels-Brown, Ruby Foran Parkinson, Ruchi Mittal, Ruth Hobley, Ruth Saxton, Ryan Thompson, Sacha Crowther, Saleena Rani, Sally Fothergill, Sally Freer, Salomée Béranger, Sam Brewin, Sam Wilson, Samantha Williams, Samuel Brewin, Sapphire Plant, Sarah Fortescue, Sean Hutchings, Shana Mason, Sian Ellis, Sid Fletcher, Sinclair Belle, Skinny Lister, Sofia Hilton, Sonia Das, Sophie Becker, Sophie Dumont, Sophie Joelle, Sophie Soar, Sophie Weiner, Sophie Wright, Stephanie Uwalaka, Steve Lamb, Steve Toase, Steve Vigors, Steve Walsh, Susan Jones, Suzi Bird, Sylwia Heller, Tessa Norton, Theo Freedman, Theodoros Ellinas, Thiago Lira, Thom Clipsom, Thomas Barrett, Tilly Clarke, Timid Elk, Tom Chivers, Tom Drew and Jack Schofield, Tom Martin, Tom Rodríguez, Tom Tollett, Tony Green, Virginia Lowes, Will Baldwin Pask, Zachary Stephens, Zoe Carlon, Zoë Dukoff-Gordon,