Giving China’s 21st century performers a place in London’s calendar

Giving China’s 21st century performers a place in London’s calendar

Was Debussy Chinese? No, of course not, but he might have been, thinks An-Ting Chang.

UK’s heritage in danger from cuts, union warns

UK’s heritage in danger from cuts, union warns

Funding cuts are hitting the caret of the UK’s heritage and museums, according to a survey of its members by the public service union Prospect.

Turner’s birthday garden party

Turner’s birthday garden party

As J M W Turner’s 243rdbirthday is celebrated today, the restoration of the garden at the house he designed and built at Twickenham for his father and himself is completed.

TaitMail    Lessons from St John’s Smith Square: that six legs are better than three

TaitMail Lessons from St John’s Smith Square: that six legs are better than three

The shell burst last weekend was the loudest culture bang to go off since ENO lost a large hunk of its subsidy three years ago and threatened to go dark if its new business plan didn’t work. St John’s Smith Square isn’t the Coliseum, but it not being there would leave a large hole in a lot of people’s musical lives.  

Where are our monuments? History and the Windrush fiasco

Where are our monuments? History and the Windrush fiasco

The Black Cultural Archives, the nation’s only repository dedicated to the heritage of African and Caribbean heritage people, opened its centre in Windrush Square, Brixton, in 2014, but why the Windrush documents if no longer thought useful, were they not passed over to the archive?Here its director, Paul Reid, looks at the history behind the unfolding fiasco regarding for the Windrush generation - and sees a shameful lack of appreciation of the Black citizens who have helped create today’s Britain, creating a hostile environment for legal migrants

Lancashire to reopen three museums

Lancashire to reopen three museums

Weekend opening plans revealed after closures

Proms showcase for disabled ensemble

Proms showcase for disabled ensemble

BSO Resound, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s disabled-led ensemble, is to make its Proms debut this summer, and its first major UK performance.

Roundhouse recruits kids’ champion

Roundhouse recruits kids’ champion

Sir Ken Robinson, the pioneer of creativity in education, is to join the Roundhouse arts centre as associate creative curator to boost its work with young people, it was announced today.

Arts education: ‘It’s not enough minister’ say arts chiefs

Arts education: ‘It’s not enough minister’ say arts chiefs

Arts leaders, including the artistic director of English National Ballet and the CEO of the British Fashion Council, have today demanded full creative education for all schoolchildren.

Crossing the Narrow Water

Crossing the Narrow Water

A literary festival aims to bridge the gap between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Youth moving in on Tate

Youth moving in on Tate

Tate has launched with a two-pronged initiative to bring more young visitors, offering £5 exhibition admission and a new youth-dedicated trustee.

St John’s Smith Square may close in funding crisis

St John’s Smith Square may close in funding crisis

One of Europe’s great concert venues will close next year if a funding appeal launched today https://www.sjss.org.uk/savesjss does not succeed.

THE WORD         Art should lead the attack on the gender wall

THE WORD Art should lead the attack on the gender wall

The British Punjabi artist Chila Kumari Burman (main image), who explores Asian femininity in paintings and installations, photography and printmaking, and film, sees art as central to breaking the gender gap and widening the cultural gaze

Arts letting down minorities in workforce

Those working in the creative industries are still predominantly from the middle classes, excluding those from BAME and working class backgrounds.

THE WORD    Own Art - who owns it?

THE WORD Own Art - who owns it?

Gallerist Ann Petherick calls time on her participation in the Own Art scheme, aimed at encouraging artlovers to buy art in easy payments

Gillian Ayres dies at 88

Gillian Ayres dies at 88

One of the leading British abstract colourist artists of the last 50 years, Gillian Ayes, has died aged 88.

ACNI announces round of cuts in funding

ACNI announces round of cuts in funding

But boost for Ulster Orchestra and Belfast MAC

 ‘New’ Grimms tale created by cloning

‘New’ Grimms tale created by cloning

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a new Grimms fairy tale was published - 150 years after the brothers died, thanks to artificial intelligence.

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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