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The vital role of arts and culture in attracting folk back into our cities to work, live and play

04 Apr 2022

The vital role of arts and culture in attracting folk back into our cities to work, live and play

Arts & Business NI (A&BNI) are a membership organisation encompassing 73 businesses and 122 arts members - we connect our members to come up with creative solutions to business challenges and are already working in the exciting space of making our cities attractive places to work, live and play.

  • WORK

Citi & various

Employing 3500+ people, Citi has created and embedded a culture of inclusion and diversity by forming five affinity networks: Women, Pride, disAbility, Multicultural and Families Matter. A&BNI work with Citi networks to inject creativity into their activities; examples include the creation of a Citi Choir, a mental health and wellbeing themed theatre performance of ‘The Man Who Fell to Pieces’ in their canteen (a first for Citi globally), diversity and inclusion workshops with Tinderbox Theatre Co. and pop-up art workshops with Arts Care.  

Baker Tilly Mooney Moore (BTMM) & Bounce Culture

A&BNI connected BTMM with Bounce Culture to address the issue of recruitment, engagement and retention in a very competitive market by scripting and delivering a dedicated podcast, exploring recent graduates’ career choices and working lives. The project saw an increase in applications and a greater awareness of the firm.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) & Belfast Ensemble

HSF partnered with Belfast Ensemble to positively impact levels of staff retention and to enhance the HSF working experience. Innovative project ‘Intermezzo’ saw 20 staff members being taught an orchestral instrument, developing complimentary soft skills: collaboration, commitment and creativity. HSF senior leadership team received conducting classes, focusing on non-verbal communication and connection skills, broadening and challenging their perspectives of leadership.

PwC & A&BNI Board Matching Programmes

Each year PwC participates in the A&BNI Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme, which places the best up-and-coming business talent onto the boards of leading local arts charities, offering an invaluable learning opportunity, especially in our post pandemic VUCA world. The programme opens the participants’ horizons and perspectives, allowing them to not only apply their professional expertise, but to also build their confidence and boardroom presence whilst extending their professional network.

  • LIVE

Destination CQ BID & The Black Box

The partners wanted to find an innovative way to promote City Centre living. Their project ‘The Green Room Living Room’ worked to combat urban isolation for the growing city centre residential population, enabling people to feel connected to each other and the city. Activities included a range of low-key events: film screenings, quizzes, comedy, live music, board game nights, talks/lectures and in-conversation-with style events. During COVID-19, The Green Room Living Room moved online.

  • PLAY

Belfast Harbour & Culture Night Belfast (CNB)

Belfast Harbour CSR pillars include community engagement and support of the arts. They have been a longstanding partner of CNB, supporting the delivery of creative activity which ensures that the city is a place where people want to actively live, work and play.

Destination CQ BID (DCQB) & Various

DCQB want to position their area as an essential part of the cultural and civic life of the city. They successfully partner with various arts organisations including Belfast Children’s Festival, Festival of Fools, and Tumble Circus to drive footfall in their BID area, demonstrating that the Cathedral Quarter is not just a night-time economy destination, but is an innovative and cultural area, and that businesses in the area have a strong family-friendly offering.

Arts & Business NI look forward to continuing to spark and support creative connections to ensure that Northern Ireland is a place where people want to work, live and play.

Maeve McKervey, Head of Business, Arts & Business NI

Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.