Culture city Coventry gets £5m from Lottery

Culture city Coventry gets £5m from Lottery

The Arts Council is giving £5m  to Coventry for its year as UK City of Culture in 2021.

Abramovich and Chelsea to sponsor new Holocaust galleries

Abramovich and Chelsea to sponsor new Holocaust galleries

Roman Abramovich and Chelsea FC are to sponsor the Imperial War Museum’s new Holocaust galleries, opening in 2021.

Shell turns back on National Gallery

Shell turns back on National Gallery

Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil company, has ceased its sponsorship of the National Gallery after  12 years.

A Wound in Time - Poet Laureate’s Armistice poem

A Wound in Time - Poet Laureate’s Armistice poem

Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, has today released a sonnet commemorating the centenary of Armistice Day, 11thNovember 1918.

MY STORY:  Diplomacy, diversity, outreach – museums’ modern challenges

MY STORY: Diplomacy, diversity, outreach – museums’ modern challenges

Following a career in the United States as a corporate lawyer and a management consultant, Tonya Nelson has recently become director of museums and cultural programmes at University College London

FEEDBACK:  ‘Remarkable’ Derby is richer than you think

FEEDBACK: ‘Remarkable’ Derby is richer than you think

Reader Mike Wheeler responds to a recent TaitMail

Our schools’ missing component arts

Our schools’ missing component arts

The Time to Listen report on cultural provision in schools was launched at the House of Lords this week by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Tate, and it raises alarm bells on arts provision in schools. In a special feature, drama critic Michael Coveney sums up its message

TAITMAIL      Goodbye to all that

TAITMAIL Goodbye to all that

By Patrick Kelly

In recent years the European Capital of Culture award seems to have gone to cities that most Brits would find hard to place.  It’s as if the EU was playing a Continental version of the game where you have to name the more obscure London Underground stations.

Theatre’s local heroes

Theatre’s local heroes

The Theatres Trust annual conference this week heard that partnerships with local authorities are providing successful community theatre projects in the face of austerity. Simon Tait reports

Liverpool to invest in musical heritage

Liverpool to invest in musical heritage

Mayor backs improvements to city centre locations

A third of theatres may close without £1/2bn upgrades

A third of theatres may close without £1/2bn upgrades

More than £550m is needed in the next five years to upgrade our theatres, or a third may be forced to close, according to new Theatres Trust research.

Scotland fears European arts exodus

Scotland fears European arts exodus

Survey suggests EU nationals may leave after Brexit

Clare O'Brien to run Mall Galleries

Clare O'Brien to run Mall Galleries

Clare O’Brien, director of Chiswick House, is to be the Mall Galleries’ new chief executive.

Uphill road to broadening art audiences

Uphill road to broadening art audiences

Research for Art UK shows that bringing young and black and multi-ethnic (BAME) people to art is a daunting task, against competition from social media.

Jubb stands down at Battersea Arts Centre

Jubb stands down at Battersea Arts Centre

David Jubb is to leave Battersea Arts Centre after 14 years as artistic director and CEO.

 Rights of Man and the White Hart, Lewes…

Rights of Man and the White Hart, Lewes…

Thomas Paine and his seminal work The Rights of Man are in the spotlight at Lewes in Sussex this weekend, and particularly at the White Hart Hotel.

V&A focuses on photo history with new centre

V&A focuses on photo history with new centre

The history of photography with some of the most iconic images ever taken as well as the earliest equipment are at heart of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new Photographic Centre.

Borland’s ghostly tribute to WWI

Borland’s ghostly tribute to WWI

A major, though-provoking sculpture by Turner nominee Christine Borland to mark the end of the First World War was unveiled at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow today.

Still in Business

 

A&B, the organisation linking the culture and business worlds, has not completely disappeared. It is alive and well in the devolved countries. Patrick Kelly looks at Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, apart, it seems, from leaving the EU’s customs union, they do things differently. Later this month, the arts world there gathers in for the major awards event of the year, the Arts and Business awards, sponsored by top flight bank Allianz.

Main picture: The Delorean, star of the film Back to the Future and made in Belfast, which was part of the Belfast Photo Festival

Arts and Business? wasn’t that an early victim of the austerity axe back in 2010? Not in Northern Ireland - the brand which disappeared in England following a devastating cut in support from Arts Council – has survived, and indeed prospered in the devolved nations. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s arts council bodies continued to back the idea of a bespoke body with a remit to link the arts world with the business sector.

Equally important in the salvaging of the Arts and Business brand in Northern Ireland, says its current chief executive Mary Nagele, was the determination of staff and sponsors to ensure that priority was given to maintaining arts special place in the hearts and minds of the business community. The UK version of Arts and Business was subsumed into the government backed body, Business in the Community. There it has to compete with the rival demands of other sectors trying to attract the attention of business leaders and observers say that the profile and clout of arts sponsorship in England has diminished within BIC.

Mary Nagele, CEO, ABNI

Two things were vital in ensuring the continuation of Arts and Business in Northern Ireland,” says Nagele, “One was the dedication of staff and the Board to put in the hours to make the changeover happened smoothly. The other was the willingness of the Arts and Business parent organisation to ‘demerge’, which included negotiations for part of the organisation’s reserves.”

Also important were the close-knit relations already built up between local business and arts organisations. “It meant that people could see the point in keeping the organisation together,” says Nagele.

But although the brand, the people and the marketing knowhow of A and B has survived, what can’t be salvaged from the wreckage is the superb research and development expertise of the UK organisation.

Its this that’s missed most, she admits.

“The changing funding environment in the arts means you always have to be a step ahead,” says Nagele. “We have moved on from what could be called ‘straight’ sponsorship to more symbiotic relationships between arts organisations and businesses.” She cites the example of Belfast International Airport and the Kabosh Theatre company. The airport was plagued by a spate of laser pen attacks on aircraft, played by pranksters, but any one of which could have spelled disaster. In response Kabosh came up with the idea of Laser Lunacy, an educative play which sets out what happens in the cockpit of an aircraft when a laser light is directed at crew from the ground.

Over 2,000 pupils in schools got to see the twenty-minute drama since then the airport reported a dramatic fall in the number of attacks.

The airport’s HR manager, Jaclyn Coulter, said: “We have a very serious message to get across to young people and we thought that the most effective way of doing that was through drama. Kabosh devised the format which didn’t hold back on the dire consequences of shining a laser pen into a cockpit.”

The collaboration between printing company Iris Colour and the Belfast Photo Festival might seem an obvious tie-up but over the years, its developed a life of its own, with recent projects including Belfast first open air fine art exhibition and the creation of a model of the iconic DeLorean car, which attracted more than 40,000 visitors.

Law firm Edwards & Company’s link with Belfast’s Lyric theatre began with sponsorship of the theatre’s summer school, providing bursaries, t-shirts and certificates for the young participants.

But it also brought the firm’s staff into contact with Michael Corbidge of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a renowned voice coach who runs courses for lawyers on argument and rhetoric in Shakespeare’s texts. Corbidge provided expert tuition on vocal techniques for practising lawyers. These are just three example of the continuing links encouraged by Arts & Business Northern Ireland, which go beyond straightforward sponsorship, says Nagele, who has been with the organisation since 2008. Prior to that, she was head of marketing & development at the Ulster Orchestra, Lyric Theatre and the Grand Opera House in Belfast. She also worked in a trade marketing role in the private sector for Bass Brewers Belfast, so has put her private sector expertise to good use.

Nagele is backed by a board chaired by the formidable Martin Bradley MBE, the former Mayor of Derry City Council, who also chaired the City of Culture Company 2013, responsible for delivering the first UK City of Culture in Derry/Londonderry. Bradley is also Chairman of the Millennium Forum Theatre and Craft Northern Ireland as well as former Chair of the much-missed Ormeau Baths art gallery in Belfast. Arts are the Business indeed!

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